Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
We all want a well-funded NHS. I congratulate the Secretary of State on making sure that we now have record spending in England. Last night, the A&E department of the Queen’s medical centre was tweeting that it effectively could not cope. We all of course congratulate and thank the hard-working staff in A&E, but the problem was demand. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the NHS can do much more to improve the way it signposts people? It was urging people to go to the urgent care centre, which does stitching and mends broken bones, all of which was news for many people in Greater Nottingham.
My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. That, of course, is why all parts of the NHS in England are embarking on the sustainability and transformation programme, which is designed to do precisely what my right hon. Friend says—to find smart ways to reduce demand. That will include, for example, better use of pharmacies, better use of GPs, more mental health provision—[Interruption.] Opposition Members are shouting, but why were they not prepared to put the money into the NHS to help us implement these plans? There would be no sustainability and transformation plans on the thin gruel that they promised for the NHS at the last election.