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  • >> Mike Amesbury (Weaver Vale) (Lab): If she will list her official engagements

  • for Wednesday 10 January.

  • >> The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May): I hope that it is not too late to wish all

  • Members and staff in the House a very happy new year.

  • This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties

  • in this House, I shall have further such meetings later today.

  • >> Mike Amesbury: I, too, wish members of staff a happy new

  • year.

  • At least 1.4 million households across the UK have been victims of unfair practices in

  • the leasehold market, including my constituent Emily Martin. In advance of any intended legislation,

  • what commitment will the Prime Minister make to ensure that Emily and thousands of people

  • tied into this PPI-like scandal are compensated by developers now?

  • >> The Prime Minister: We are concerned when we hear of unfair practices

  • taking place. I am sure that the Housing Minister will be happy to hear of this particular case

  • as an example. We are looking to see what action the Government can take to ensure that

  • people are secure in their homes and are not subject to practices that they should not

  • be subject to.

  • >> James Cleverly (Braintree) (Con): In December, when the Brexit Secretary met

  • Michel Barnier, they hugged. In that spirit, would my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister

  • passionately embracenot me, Mr Speaker; don't worrythe agenda that she set out

  • last year to build a Britain fit for the future, to encourage home ownership, improve education,

  • health and life chances, and leave this country in a better place than we found it?

  • >> The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend talks about passionate embraces;

  • I do not think that he has ever had the kiss that he once asked for. He is absolutely right:

  • we are determined to deliver a Britain that is fit for the future. That means that we

  • need to get Brexit right and do a lot more. He references house building; yes, we are

  • committed to building the homes that this country needs. That is why we have made £15

  • billion of new financial support available over the next five years, and why we scrapped

  • stamp duty for 80% of first-time buyers. We are also improving school standardsthere

  • are 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools todayand we are protecting our

  • natural environment. We are building a Britain that can look to the future with optimism

  • and hope.

  • >> Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) (Lab): Mr Speaker, may I wish you, all the House

  • and all our staff a very happy new year? Everybody is agreed? Yes? Thank you. I know it seems

  • a long time ago, but just before Christmas, I asked the Prime Minister about the 12,000

  • people left waiting more than half an hour in the back of ambulances at A&E departments.

  • She told the House that the NHS was better prepared for winterthan ever before.”

  • What words of comfort does she have for the 17,000 patients who waited in the back of

  • ambulances in the last week of December? Is it that nothing is perfect, by any chance?

  • >> The Prime Minister: I fully accept that the NHS is under pressure

  • over winter. It is regularly under pressure at winter time. I have been very clear: I

  • apologised to those people who have had their operations delayed and to those people who

  • have had their admission to hospital delayed, but it is indeed the case that the NHS was

  • better prepared this winter than ever before. [Interruption.] Yes. It might be helpful if

  • I let the House know some of the things that were done to ensure that preparedness. More

  • people than ever before are having flu vaccines, and 2,700 more acute beds have been made available

  • since November. For the first time ever, urgent GP appointments have been available across

  • the Christmas period across this country, and more doctors are specialising in treating

  • the elderly in accident and emergency.

  • The right hon. Gentleman mentioned the last exchange we had in this House. In our last

  • exchange, he said mental health budgets have been cut; that is not right. Simon Stevens

  • from the national health service has made it clear that mental health spending has gone

  • up both in real terms and as a proportion of the overall spending. So will the right

  • hon. Gentleman now apologise for what he previously said?

  • >> Jeremy Corbyn: The Prime Minister knows full well that child

  • and adolescent mental health services budgets have been raided and many people who need

  • help are not getting that help. We saw onITV Newsthe other night that nurses

  • are spending their entire shift treating people in car parks because of backed-up ambulances.

  • We know the Prime Minister recognises there is a crisis in our NHS because she wanted

  • to sack the Health Secretary last week but was too weak to do it, and if the NHS is so

  • well resourced and so well prepared, why was the decision taken last week to cancel the

  • operations of 55,000 patients during the month of January?

  • >> The Prime Minister: I say to the right hon. GentlemanMembers

  • on the Labour Front Bench sayApologise”; if they had listened to the answer I gave

  • to their right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition, they will have heard me make it

  • clear that I have already apologised to those whose operations have been delayed, and we

  • will make sure they are reinstated as soon as possible. We are putting record funding

  • into the NHS and record funding into mental health, but the right hon. Gentleman keeps

  • on about the preparations for the NHS and I was very pleased last week to be able to

  • go and say in person a thank you to staff at Frimley health trust from both Frimley

  • Park and Wexham Park hospitals for the work they have been doing to deliver for patients

  • across this period of particular pressure across the winter. Our NHS staffnot just

  • doctors and nurses, but support staff such as radiographers, administrative staff, porters,

  • everybody working in our national health servicedo a fantastic job day in and day out, and they

  • particularly do that when we have these winter pressures. In terms of being prepared, this

  • is what NHS Providers said only last week:

  • Preparations for winter in the NHS have been more extensive and meticulous than ever

  • before.”

  • >> Jeremy Corbyn: We all thank all NHS staff for what they do,

  • but the reality is that the 55,000 cancelled operations means those 55,000 people join

  • the 4 million already waiting for operations within the NHS.

  • Perhaps the Prime Minister could listen to the experience of Vicki. Her 82-year-old mother

  • spent 13 hours on a trolley in a corridor, on top of the three hours between her first

  • calling 999 and arriving at hospital. Vicki says:

  • “A volunteer first responder from Warwickshire heart service whose day job is in the Army

  • kept mum safe until paramedics arrived.”

  • Her mother had suffered a heart attack just a week before. This is not an isolated case.

  • Does the Prime Minister really believe the NHS is better prepared than ever for the crisis

  • it is now going through?

  • >> The Prime Minister: Nobody wants to hear of people having to experience

  • what Vicki and her mother experienced. Of course we need to ensure that we learn from

  • these incidents, and that is exactly what we do in the national health service. I am

  • very happy to ensure that that particular case is looked at, if the right hon. Gentleman

  • would like to provide me with the details. But week in and week out in the run-up to

  • Christmas, and now today, he has been giving the impression of a national health service

  • that is failing everybody who uses it. The reality in our NHS is that we are seeing 2.9

  • million more people going to accident and emergency, and over 2 million more operations

  • taking place each year. Our national health service is something that we should be proud

  • of. It is a first-class national health service that has been identified as the No. 1 health

  • system in the world. That means that it is a better health system than those of Australia,

  • the Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Germany and the United States

  • of America.

  • >> Jeremy Corbyn: We on this side of the House are all very

  • proud of the principle of the national health servicehealthcare as a human rightbut

  • the reality is that, in the past year, 565,000 people have spent time on trolleys when they

  • should have been being treated. The number of elderly people being rushed into A&E from

  • care homes has risen by 62% since the Tories took power, and Care Quality Commission figures

  • suggest that nearly a quarter of care homes need improvement. This is not only robbing

  • older people of their dignity, but putting pressure on A&Es and ambulance services. So

  • why, instead of dealing with the social care crisis, has the Prime Minister rewarded the

  • Health Secretary with a promotion and a new job title?

  • >> The Prime Minister: There are many voices across the House, including

  • from the right hon. Gentleman's party, who have been encouraging me to ensure that we

  • have better integration between health and social care. I am pleased that we have recognised

  • this by making the Department of Health now the Department of Health and Social Care.

  • That has been recognised by Age UK, which has said that this is a

  • welcome and long overdue recognition of the interdependence of health and social care”.

  • I saw for myself last week at Frimley Park the good work that is being done by some hospitals

  • up and down the country, working with GPs, care homes and the voluntary sector, to ensure

  • that elderly people can stay at home safely and do not need to go into hospital, with

  • all the consequences of them coming into hospital beds. That is the way forward, and we want

  • to ensure that we see the integration of health and social care at grassroots level. From

  • the way in which the right hon. Gentleman talks, you would think that the Labour party

  • had all the solutions for the national health service.

  • >> Mr Speaker: Order.

  • >> The Prime Minister: If the Labour party has all the answers, why

  • is funding being cut and why are targets not being met in Wales, where Labour is responsible?

  • >> Jeremy Corbyn: The Prime Minister leads a Government who

  • are responsible for the funding of national Governments, such as the one in Wales, and

  • she knows full well what has been cut from Wales. She is also directly responsible for

  • the NHS in England, and giving the Health Secretary a new job title will not hide the

  • fact that £6 billion has been cut from social care under the Tories. Part of the problem

  • with our NHS is that its funds are increasingly being siphoned off into private companies,

  • including in the Health Secretary's area of Surrey.

  • >> Mr Speaker: Order. Mr Shelbrooke, calm yourself, man!

  • You are supposed to be auditioning to become an elder statesman, but on present evidence,

  • there will be many more auditions to come. Calm yourself; it will be good for your health.

  • >> Jeremy Corbyn: Even more money is being siphoned out of our

  • NHS budgets into private health companies. In the Health Secretary's area of Surrey,

  • a clinical commissioning group was even forced to pay money to Virgin Care because that company

  • did not win a contract. Will the Prime Minister assure patients that, in 2018, less NHS money

  • intended for patient care will be feathering the nests of shareholders in private health

  • companies?

  • >> The Prime Minister: First, this Government have given more money

  • to the Welsh Government. It is a decision of Labour in Wales to deprioritise funding

  • for the national health service in Wales. On the issue of the private sector and its

  • role in the health service, under which Government was it that private access and the use of

  • the private sector in the health service increased? No, it wasn't.

  • >> Mr Speaker: Order. I say to the shadow Secretary of State

  • for Health, the hon. Member for Leicester South (Jonathan Ashworth), that he, too, is

  • supposed to be auditioning for something. He is normally a very amiable fellow, but

  • he is gesticulating in a very eccentric fashion. He must calm himself. It is not necessary

  • and not good for his image.

  • >> The Prime Minister: First of all, we have put more money into

  • Wales, but the Labour Government in Wales have decided to deprioritise funding for the

  • national health service. Secondly, the increase that was seen in private sector companies

  • working in the health service did not happen under a Conservative Government; that was

  • under a Labour Government of whom the Leader of the Opposition was a member.

  • >> Jeremy Corbyn: My hon. Friend the shadow Health Secretary