Frank Field MP
Your MP for Birkenhead
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Birkenhead’s MP reveals extent of winter strain on Wirral’s A&E services

29 January 2018
Commons Chamber

Birkenhead’s MP Frank Field today reveals the extent of the strain being felt by Wirral’s A&E services:

- In December 2017, 2,369 patients – 21.6% of all patients who arrived at A&E that month – waited longer than four hours before being admitted, transferred or discharged
- This is a worse performance than both the national average and the previous December in Wirral, in which 1,946 patients – 17.9% of the total – waited longer than four hours in A&E
- Last month’s total would have risen to 29.4% of all patients, had it not been for the work of minor injuries units treating people away from Arrowe Park
- In the three-month period from October to December 2017, 5,179 patients – 16.1% of the total – waited longer than four hours in A&E; another significant increase on the same three-month period from the previous year, in which 4,304 patients – 13.9% of the total – waited longer than four hours 

In the light of these new data, obtained from the Department of Health in response to his parliamentary question, Frank issues two rallying calls:

- For Wirral’s health authorities to continue to support existing minor injuries units which have proved cost effective, and to provide new minor injuries units with the support they need to build on this essential work, to ease more of the pressure on Arrowe Park
- For the Government to address the £10 billion NHS funding shortfall that will open up in 2020, by initiating a major shift in the National Insurance system so that it funds health and social care along progressive lines

Frank says: ‘Our frontline NHS staff continue to perform minor miracles in offering many of my constituents a first class service. Minor injuries units, in particular, are again punching above their weight. But what these data show is that with each year that passes without adequate funding and a restructuring of services, staff are being asked to perform those minor miracles with one arm tied behind their back. This cannot continue without more and more patients falling through the cracks that are beginning to show, not least in A&E.’


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