Page last updated at 13:10 GMT, Tuesday, 14 September 2010 14:10 UK

Accident and emergency services

A Liberal Democrat MP has complained about the lack of Accident and Emergency hospital services during a Westminster Hall debate.

Opening the debate on 14 September, the Southport MP John Pugh said there had been a "downgrading" of A&E services across the country, and focused on the lack of children's A&E services in Southport.

He was joined in the debate by the newly elected MP for Burnley Gordon Birtwistle, who said regional A&E departments were being "swamped" following the closure of local services.

Responding to the debate, Health Minister Simon Burns said that A&E services were being "reshaped", moving away from "politically motivated top down targets".

He told MPs that the current targets on waiting times would be replaced by a series of performance indicators from April 2011.

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