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Hunt: Drunk people who clog up A&E are 'selfish'

Ambulances line up outside the Royal Liverpool University Hospital A&E Credit: PA

Jeremy Hunt has condemned drunk people who use A&E and called those who deprive others of care "selfish".

Everyone must treat the NHS in a "responsible way", the Health Secretary said, as he attacked those who behave irresponsibly.

Mr Hunt was responding after Tory MP Andrew Selous asked: "More than a third of A&E attendances at peak times are caused by drunkenness... what more can we do to hugely reduce that proportion by this time next year?"

Mr Hunt made the comments during a statement to the Commons on NHS performance amid concerns about the winter pressures faced by A&E departments.

December 27 was the busiest day in NHS history

Despite this winter seeing the busiest day in the NHS's history, the health service is not in crisis, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has insisted.

December 27 was the busiest day to date and shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has urged Mr Hunt to "get a grip".

Hunt: 'Vulnerable people frightened by NHS crisis claims'

Jeremy Hunt warned people could be 'frightened' by exaggerated talk Credit: HOC

Vulnerable people can be frightened by talk of the NHS being in crisis, Jeremy Hunt has warned.

The Health Secretary said there was a need to be "very careful" when describing the state of the health service, days after the Red Cross labeled it as being in a "humanitarian crisis."

Tory Sir Nicholas Soames told MPs in the House of Commons he thought the charity's claims were "grossly over the top".

In reply, Hunt said: "He speaks extremely wisely and I too think that we've got to be very careful about the language we use in these situations, because I think many vulnerable people can be frightened if you get the tone wrong.

"The vast majority of NHS services are performing extremely well under a great deal of pressure."

Labour: Hunt living in 'la la land' over NHS problems

MP Jon Ashworth said Jeremy Hunt was living in 'la la land' Credit: HOC

Jeremy Hunt is living in "la la land," according to Labour, who urged him to admit the NHS is in a state of "crisis."

The Red Cross claimed over the weekend that pressure faced by A&E departments across the country amounted to a "humanitarian crisis".

But Health Secretary Hunt, addressing an urgent question in the House of Commons, warned Labour against trying to "weaponise" problems in the health service for political gain.

MP Jon Ashworth said was "no doubt that this current crisis could have been averted".

"Hospital bosses, council leaders, patient groups, MPs from across the House urged the Chancellor to give the NHS and social care extra money in the autumn statement," he said.

"Those requests fell on deaf ears and we are now seeing the dismal consequences.

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