Labour representatives in Calderdale have slammed the government’s failure to deal with the NHS crisis, after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak set out his priorities for the year in a major speech today.

The speech came after it emerged that up to 500 people per week are dying due to NHS delays, and leading medical association, Doctors Association UK, called for the immediate recall of Parliament for an emergency debate.

Waiting times for December are expected to be the worst on record, and more than a dozen NHS trusts and ambulance services declared critical incidents over the festive period. People have been urged not to attend Calderdale Royal Hospital unless they have a life or limb-threatening emergency.

Halifax MP Holly Lynch responded, saying:

“Hundreds of people are dying unnecessarily each week due to delays in the NHS and hundreds of local families here in Halifax are struggling to heat their homes or feed their families.

“Nothing the Prime Minister has said today will reassure anyone, and his big announcement was on studying maths. He is completely out of touch with the now desperate challenges facing ordinary people.

“The crisis in our health service is a result of 13 years of underfunding, understaffing and a failure to reform the social care system. We need clear action immediately in order to secure patient safety.”

Calderdale Council Leader Cllr Tim Swift said:

“Twelve years of austerity has seen the NHS under huge pressure, and desperate for both capital investment and a comprehensive staffing plan.

“In the short term the government must act quickly with a comprehensive and fair offer to nurses and ambulance staff to settle the current pay dispute and restore staff morale whilst doing everything possible to prioritise patient and staff safety this winter.”

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