May surfaces to deny existence of NHS crisis. Total winter deaths are up by 50,000

Dr David Wrigley writes: “This is a corridor in an A&E and it could be your grandma there. Gross mishandling & cuts by Tories did this.”

The Conservative Government is denying the existence of any serious problem in the English National Health Service, despite the Red Cross having announced a “humanitarian crisis”.

Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson has made the following appeal to UK prime minister Theresa May.

The British Medical Association has stood by the Red Cross:

Mrs May has told Sky’s Sophy Ridge that her government has put more money into the NHS.

[Image: Paul Mason.]

Oh, so that’s all right then. A paltry sub-inflation increase of 0.8 per cent per year (a real-terms cut, This Writer seems to recall) means the deaths on hospital trolleys are illusory. I DON’T THINK SO.

In any case, what about all the planned cuts? See:

She said the NHS had problems due to an aging population, but “that is why the NHS has developed a plan. It is putting it into practice”.

What plan would this be? The same plan as is in practise at the Department for Work and Pensions? The plan to make people die?

She has gone on to talk about mental health, saying the issue cannot be addressed simply by throwing money at it and a strategy to address stigma is more important. Isn’t that true of any health problem? Yet with the NHS as a whole, no strategies have been launched to tackle the causes of the problems that have mounted up to create the humanitarian crisis described by the Red Cross.

I think Theresa May is lying through her teeth. There is a humanitarian crisis. There’s no extra money. And there is no plan apart from letting it run its course and allowing your relatives to die.

Shall we have a quick reminder of the Conservative Party’s recent record of achievement, with regard to the National Health Service in England? Here it is:

Meanwhile, Justine Greening told Andrew Marr it was “inappropriate” for the Red Cross to describe the situation as a humanitarian crisis, and said the charity’s involvement was “not particularly unusual”.

This of course completely ignores the obvious: If it isn’t unusual for the Red Cross to be involved, then the Red Cross will have a very good reason to describe the situation as a humanitarian crisis. And the Red Cross knows a humanitarian crisis when its members see one.

Dr David Wrigley had this to say about Ms Greening’s performance:

That is Tory health policy for you: Defund, say it isn’t working, privatise; Deny what they’re doing; and Divert attention away.

Jeremy Hunt, who is allegedly the Secretary of State for Health, has been nowhere to be found. Apparently he is hiding in Japan.

And the right-wing media? They have nothing to say:

According to Professor Ray Tallis, co-author of NHS: SOS, the book which predicted the Tory health disaster, the number of preventable winter deaths has increased by 50,000 this year. It was a high number already, last year, if This Writer recalls correctly.

Labour has accused the Conservatives of systematically underfunding the NHS – a claim that won’t be easily dismissed. Isn’t it true that funding cuts are the reason for the controversial Sustainability and Transformation plans (STPs) that have been so roundly rejected by Health and Wellbeing Boards across the UK?

And calls are mounting for direct action.

This Writer is particularly fond of the following comment, as it refers to my own work uncovering the number of preventable deaths caused by the Department for Work and Pensions:

I should point out, though, that the number quoted is likely to be only a fraction of the true figure, as the DWP ignored anybody who died outside a very narrow, two-week time frame.

Opinions are starting to come in from abroad. Here’s an American doctor who experienced NHS treatment, telling the Conservatives to “stop messing it up”.

The Labour Party has spoken up strongly, calling on the Conservative Government to do its job and ensure that NHS doctors and nurses can do theirs.

The response has been predictable: Widespread calls for Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation on grounds of ineffectiveness.

Trouble was, Mr Corbyn was everywhere yesterday – and has a proven track record of supporting the NHS. He visited the picket lines to support striking junior doctors last year, for example. And he delivered the following statement on the current crisis:

The response? Here it is:

Apparently, some Corbyn critics were complaining that he had not brought the Tories back to Parliament yesterday (January 7) to account for their actions – until some kind souls explained to them that Parliament is in recess until tomorrow (January 9), and in any case it doesn’t sit on Saturdays.

Other critics who said he hasn’t done anything, and were then told how he has been campaigning strongly, have been characterised as responding that it doesn’t count because “he’s only whinging”. When asked what they think he should do, they tend to go very quiet.

It is good to see both right- and left-wing Labour coming together over this. See Liz Kendall’s comment on Twitter:

I would point out that some of us have been warning about a crisis in the NHS for years – in the case of This Site, since the Health and Social Care Act 2012 was first discussed in Parliament.

This article could run on forever; the amount of information on this crisis is so great – and ongoing, meaning everything I have written here may be out of date very soon.

At this moment in time, then, it is important to remember three things:

  1. There is a humanitarian crisis in the English National Health Service.
  2. It was created deliberately, by the Conservative Government which has starved the NHS of funds in order to give them to private health firms where they have been wasted as profit for shareholders.
  3. People are dying because Conservatives believe healthcare should only be available to people who are able to pay a fortune for it:

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  1. NMac January 8, 2017 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    In the face of all the facts and all the evidence, the Health Secretary is nowhere to be seen and May just turns the other way and denies what everyone can see with their own eyes.

  2. Neilth January 8, 2017 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Come on Mike this is showing that the government strategy is working. The more winter deaths that occur presumably predominantly of older people, the less they have to pay out on pensions and the less pressure there is on the care budget, which as we all know is inadequate for the demand. So reducing demand must be a good thing. A win-win situation.

    Oh wait…

  3. Barry Davies January 8, 2017 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    It’s a bit much to blame May for creating he crisis it began a long time ago when the tories introduced the trust system to the health service as a first move towards privatisation, 13 years of centre right blairism did nothing to aid the situation and in a lot of areas exacerbated the problem, Hunt has been a total disaster for the Health service, and you have to wonder how he has kept the job. At least Corbyn has a genuine left wing labour vision of what the NHS should be doing even if he has no idea of how to ensure it happens.

  4. Justin January 8, 2017 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    this is a powerful article, on to subjects like mental health and other areas there also seems to be blatant ignorance from the government that the policies of the DWP and there excellent 5 week trained better than gp professionals and indeed the most awesome physiotherapist, a sport’s one at that that knows more about bi-polar than a whole community mental health team, why do we need a NHS when we have shining examples of light coming from the dwp, who incidentally struggle to tell you there correct qualifications apart from they have done the 5 weeks of excellence course (ch4 dispatches) and what is the outcome of this, well how many go back into the NHS System because of these assessments, the DWP will tell you, none, just like the suicides and such, there not actually our fault, it is causual, really, a threat of a sanction to a vunerable adult, loss of mobility due to a incompetent assessment and assessor, surprised they don’t have fist pumping training courses at the DWP so that every time someone gets a sanction they have to ring a bell and everyone fist pumps wearing a mask that looks like ids, does this sound like i am taking the mick, yes, it does, however, the sad thing is that i am taking the mick out of a system that is flawed, something that everyone except the few that are groomed on the ids/cg/dwp book of bull***t and will actually go round and have freudian slips in actually believing this stuff.Our NHS is stuffed why we have incompetent people and this goes further than the NHS itself, it starts with government and government departments, they need there own discipline and sanctions before they start telling others about there lifestyles they really need to look at there own and sort that out

  5. casalealex January 8, 2017 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Phil Chesterman this should be put in front of the cow at the pmQ time come on explain this step by step

  6. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl) January 8, 2017 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Mrs. May must think we are all easily fooled. I consider both her own and Justine Greening’s comments to be entirely inappropriate and just an attempt to cover their complete neglect and abrogation of duty.

  7. Steven Mackie January 8, 2017 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    Isnt this what people voted for when they pit the Tories into power just a mere two years ago? You reap what you so folks – so dont start whinging about the decisions you made after weighing up all the options before you voted in the General Election

    • Dez January 12, 2017 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      But those nice honest Tory leaders told us common voters that the NHS was safe in their hands and we could totally trust their pledges at election time….. no one would lie at such a crucial time of a Country going to the voting booth. Admittedly they did not chisel this in a stone plaque. Even so that whiter than white Lord Seb Coe included a massive NHS promotion in the UK Olympics closing ceremony endorsing proudly to the whole world that this wonderful UK Government,and its future plans for the NHS were honourable and long lasting. I did not see any greedy third rate privatisation sharks circling the huge tableau ….. or was I getting a brew in at that moment.

      • Mike Sivier January 13, 2017 at 2:30 am - Reply

        Danny Boyle, not Seb Coe – and it was in the opening ceremony, unless my memory cheats.

  8. Dez January 8, 2017 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Yes they really have got their heads truly stuck up where the sun does not shine. Justine Greening was a robot spewing out the Tory line this morning in complete denial and I would wager has not got the courage or sense to actually get off her toff backside and go and see for herself what is going on in the front line. I’m sure the folk in Emergency would like a word in her obviously deaf ear. Unlike that nice Hunt fellow who is right now sorting it all out…..arranging the funding and extra front line staff….not here ? In Japan!! Probably helping them with his superb advice on how to run a Health Service on a shoe string. Needs to get himself back and sort this out otherwise his NHS liability costs will be through the roof making his funding efforts look like chicken feed.

  9. Florence January 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Despite a degree of protection given to NHS Wales by Cardiff, this is limited by the amount that can be taken from other budgets within the overall inadequate settlement from Westminster. The crisis in NHS England will inevitably affect all parts of the UK sooner or later. I think the only solution will be for mass demonstrations, and we have to make sure that the devolved regions are part of the campaign. We are stronger if we are united. It is the National Health Service on name only – lets campaign to get a true national service restored.

  10. Hattie Taylor January 8, 2017 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    what about the health education reforms? no funding for student nurses any more, no bursary and on top they must pay £9k per year university fees.

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