Ben Bradshaw

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Question on Devon NHS Crisis

At yesterday's Health Questions, I asked the Secretary of State about the crisis facing the NHS in Devon.

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): When I asked the Prime Minister two weeks ago about the financial crisis facing Devon NHS, he seemed completely unaware of it, so could the Health Secretary please explain why Devon NHS faces an unprecedented £430 million deficit and what he is doing to stop the rationing, cuts and total withdrawal of some services that is now being proposed?

Mr Hunt: We are not rationing services. In fact, we are doing 1 million more operations every year than were done under the previous Government. I will tell the right hon. Gentleman why that financial pressure exists: we have an ageing population, with nearly 1 million more over-65s than four years ago, and huge pressure to deliver good care in the wake of the Francis report. The NHS will be supported if we have a strong economy that can fund real-terms increases in health spending—something that never happens if the deficit is forgotten.

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