On the day before Christmas Eve, a question that had been written by Caroline Lucas, my MP received a response from Edward Argar. However although he responded to the question he did not answer the question and indeed he made that very clear in his first few words. So given that Parliament is reopening tomorrow let us hope that Edward will be able to update us all in the next few days. Here is the question which is detailed and after the very brief response, Edward fills his time with a comment that is not related to the question even though it has some value.
Caroline: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the November 2021 Royal College of Emergency Medicine Acute Insight Series, Crowding and its Consequences, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the estimate published in that report that there were at least 4519 excess deaths caused by crowding in accident and emergency departments in 2020-21; and if he will make a statement.
Edward Argar : No such assessment has been made.
Edward Argar [background information]: NHS England and NHS Improvement led detailed operational level winter planning with providers, regions and stakeholders and set out actions to support improved emergency care performance and patient flow through hospitals, supported by £5.4 billion of additional funding. This includes a new Urgent and Emergency Care Recovery Unit to coordinate support for the most challenged systems and £478 million for the enhanced patient discharge programme, to increase bed capacity and reduce crowding in accident and emergency departments.