In a week when even right-wing tabloids accepted there was a crisis at the NHS, the Health Secretary is furiously denying anything of the sort.
This morning Jeremy Hunt told ITV:
Well, these problems are totally unacceptable. This is the most difficult time for the NHS in the year. It always is very difficult after the Christmas period when GP surgeries are not open over the actual days of Christmas and then they reopen and a lot of people get sent to hospital.
However, he argued that the situation had “eased significantly” over the weekend, saying the numbers of patients kept too long on trolleys “has reduced to a handful now. so it’s much, much lower than it was a week earlier.
Just a handful?
That’s not what doctors are saying
Dr Paul Robinson (emergency doctor): We are overwhelmed, there are no beds, we don’t have enough staff and we are improperly funded.
Victoria Derbyshire: Is that because certain trusts have decommissioned beds? They have taken beds out because they don’t have the money?
Dr Robinson: That’s part of it. We have a huge amount of acute beds cut in the last ten years. And A&E attendance in the last 10 years is up 25%. And this is all in a speciality which struggles to recruit and retain doctors and nurses.
— Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) January 9, 2017
And here is a slightly longer but very good summary by BBC News today on the NHS crisis
The Health Secretary and the PM are clueless