Everyone apart from the Health Secretary seemed to see this crisis coming a mile off says union
GMB, the union for NHS workers, has demanded Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt resigns as the NHS crisis tailspins into catastrophe.
Already in 2018 tens of thousands of non-emergency operations have been postponed, while the latest NHS figures show in the final week of 2017 almost 5,000 ambulances had to wait more than an hour to handover the patient to hospital.
Before Christmas, GMB warned of the growing crisis in the NHS and these latest revelations are a shocking indictment of the way the NHS at all levels has been starved of cash and resources.
The number of hospitals turning sick people away has dramatically increased putting lives at risk.
GMB says Jeremy Hunt must take responsibility for this disaster and step down.
Kevin Brandstatter, GMB National Officer for the NHS, said: “Everyone apart from the Health Secretary seemed to see this crisis coming a mile off – it repeats the pattern of previous years.
“In winter it is cold, people get flu, have accidents, illnesses and require treatment. That is well known.
“However because the Government have starved the NHS of resources, a foreseen event, which should have been planned for, has become a crisis.
“Asking already stressed and overworked staff to undertake more shifts, as some have done, will lead to more staff having to report sick though exhaustion and stress.
“Alternatives such as ‘Walk In’ Centres are very busy there are growing queues for advice and treatment.
“Some who attend are found to be so ill, they need hospital care. While Walk In Centres relieve the pressure on A&E Departments, they also need additional staff.
“GMB members working for ambulance trusts continuously complain of lengthening times to hand patients over to A&E departments, leading to longer response times for 999 calls.
“Frustration seems to be the common thread throughout the NHS.
“Theresa May apologised for the mess the NHS, but unless she orders the Chancellor to devote more money to our health service that apology will have a very hollow ring for the people of Britain.
“Meanwhile her Health Secretary is clearly not up to the job, and must step down before the NHS crisis tailpsins into catastrophe.”