Tory announces ‘chair’ solution to NHS winter crisis

The culprit: Philip Dunne thinks pressures on the NHS can be handled, as long as patients have a chair to sit on.

If Theresa May’s Cabinet reshuffle was an attempt to divert attention away from the winter crisis that has already killed many National Health Service patients, it has failed…

… mostly because one of her health ministers managed to make a career-defining mistake during a Parliamentary debate on the situation, while Mrs May was discussing Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s Cabinet position with him in 10 Downing Street.

For those of you who are unaware of the situation (or at least, of what the Tories are saying about it), Mrs May has said the NHS has been better-prepared for what she called “winter pressures” (she doesn’t accept that there is a crisis) than ever before.

Here’s what Accident and Emergency doctor Adrian Harrop has to say about that (hint: he disagrees profoundly):

Still not convinced? Watch this:

That’s what it looks like on the ground. Here’s another doctor – Dagan Lonsdale – with the facts and figures – and a message about Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt:

The message was so strong that Ralf Little, who came under fire from Mr Hunt for suggesting that the Health Secretary had been lying to the British public, satirised himself – and landed another blow on Mr Hunt – with the following:

https://twitter.com/RalfLittle/status/949395807417053191

Meanwhile, Theresa May had been trying to calm concerns about overcrowding in hospitals. Faced with claims that some had no beds free at all, she said that delayed discharges – where elderly people (for example) were being kept in hospital when they did not need to be – were “coming down”. We’ll come back to the issue of crowding momentarily but in the meantime, here’s a graph courtesy of another doctor, Lauren Gavaghan:

Or perhaps Mrs May simply had not done her research and was saying whatever she thought people wanted to hear, in the hope that nobody would notice the falsehood. That seems to be epidemic in Conservative ministers at the moment.

Dr Gavaghan goes on to explain the situation in slightly more detail:

Some saw the Cabinet reshuffle – and the possibility of a new Health Secretary – as a ray of hope amidst all this misery:

Others were more realistic:

It was at this point that Philip Dunne MP, Conservative Minister for Health, made his career-defining contribution to a Commons debate on the crisis:

No doubt that will have provoked a reaction in you, dear reader. It certain did in others:

(Mr Mason was comparing the NHS with the case of Toby Young, whose appointment to the Office for Students was vigorously defended in the Commons chamber after the NHS debate, despite his blatant unsuitability for the job, only some of the reasons for which were mentioned in the tweet above.)

So there you have it.

There is no winter crisis because Theresa May says there isn’t.

Jeremy Hunt has been rewarded for decisions that have caused the deaths of NHS patients by being handed control over social care as well as health, in the Cabinet reshuffle.

And there’s no need to worry about hospital overcrowding because at least the very sick will have chairs to sit on.

And in the background, Tory privatisation cheerleaders are waiting for the right moment to claim that private companies could do a better job.

That moment must never come – because private companies not only can’t do a better job, they won’t.

Profit-making firms pick and choose the healthcare work they do, and wouldn’t go near Accident and Emergency treatment.

The problems we are seeing at the moment have been created entirely by the Conservatives’ decision to cut funding to the health service – a decision that has no rational basis at all.

They did it because they felt like it.

And people are dying.


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6 thoughts on “Tory announces ‘chair’ solution to NHS winter crisis

  1. aunty1960

    We always have a Winter Crisis of flu and falls.

    I think a separate approach and pop up response team and units are needed, one which does not allow time and services and resources to be taken away from the regular needed A&E and scheduled ops.

    This is ridiculous, it is like UK not being prepared for snow every year or leaves on the tracks.

    And I am sorry, or not sorry, as reducing some things would help all round, such as reducing violence, attacks, rapes, drugs, alcohol and riots and socialists anarchists hospitalising serval hundred police at once.

    guns and knife crime gone up, so has rape and child abuise and domestic violence, that wd reduce pressure on resources.

    Oh but that is British Culture now, as police say. have to get used to it

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      In fact, history shows that we don’t always have a winter crisis.
      For the vast majority of the New Labour government of 1997-2010, there were no reports of any winter crises in the NHS, the exceptions being the early years when the issues caused by the previous Conservative government were being brought under control.
      I know you don’t like Labour, but you need to accept fact.
      Under Labour, the NHS is prepared for the “winter pressures”, as Theresa May describes them. Under the Conservatives, the NHS is deliberately deprived of its ability to cope.
      Your own bias comes out in your comment. When’s the last time “socialists anarchists” went around “hospitalising serval [sic] hundred police at once”? And what had the police been doing?
      Your complaint about British culture as a whole may have legs – once your anti-Labour bias is taken out and a few facts inserted. It is, after all, a complaint against British culture as affected by Tory political policies.
      Think about it!

  2. Jenny

    Millions of people have paid money into the health service through national insurance contribution this money does not belong to the government it belongs to the people for the NHS and pensions and unemployed disability. This is not the Tories money to do what they want with it . The sooner they are made aware of that fact the better off our lives may be. Nobody seems to want to point that fact out to them.

  3. rotzeichen

    I would just like to add a personal anecdote to another reason why A&E is getting an increase in visits. My wife fell over and hurt her knee a couple of weeks ago, she is still suffering pain in that knee, and so rang our doctors for an appointment, she could not get an answer from the phone, that is the phone kept ringing without a response, she tried over three times at different times of the day without response, this has never happened before in our practice. She finally went on line to get an appointment, after a long wait the reply came back, she is booked in at the end of this month something like a 3 week wait. That has never happened in our practice before, and we were notified only recently that there were big improvements on the way as three practices, including ours had just merged.

    Without explaining the reasons in detail, this has transformed one of our practices into a HUB, which is part of the fragmentation process so that these are handy sized parts of the NHS where Virgin can come along take over.

    It’s all about privatisation. Nothing else matters to this corrupt lying government

Comments are closed.