Umunna – NHS crisis shows MPs must back £350 million funding increase for the NHS

The crisis facing our NHS was confirmed today, as it emerged that as many as 33 accident and emergency departments face downgrading or closure, and as new figures showed that nine out of ten hospital trusts reached unsafe levels of overcrowding this winter.

This confirms how badly our NHS needs the £350 million a week cash injection promised by Leave campaigners during the EU referendum.

MPs from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens are supporting an amendment to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, put down by Chuka Umunna MP, that would force the Government to publish analysis on the impact of Brexit on health spending before triggering Article 50.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"The Government is sticking its head in the stand refusing to face up to the NHS crisis of their making, talking about the trivial sums spent on treating non-UK nationals while lining up dozens of A&E services for closure, with nine out of ten hospitals suffering from an unsafe level of overcrowding.

"What our NHS needs is serious investment after seven years of Tory underfunding. That means sticking to the promise made by cabinet ministers like Boris Johnson to spend £350 million more a week on our National Health Service.

"Pro-Leave Tory MPs should line up in support of our cross-party amendment to the Article 50 Bill, which would force the Government to set out the impact of Brexit on the health budget.

"They made a pledge to the British people, and if Brexit does really mean Brexit, then they should stick to the pledge to spend £350 million extra per week on the NHS that was plastered on that big red bus."

/ends

Notes to editors:

Details of the amendment are here: http://www.voteleavewatch.org.uk/52_mps_support_article_50_amendment_calling_for_350m_nhs_pledge_to_be_kept.

Analysis by the Health Service Journal has found that 33 A&E units could be at risk of closure or downgrading by 2021:  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/06/one-in-six-ae-departments-at-risk-of-closure-or-downgrade.

New NHS figures show that nine out of ten hospital trusts have been overcrowded this winter: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38853707

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