BBC Radio 4’s ‘Call You and Yours’ programme of 10 January 2017 was themed “What’s Your Experience of the NHS in Winter?”. It carried a remarkable segment that the vast majority of people will have missed.
That segment contained coverage of a major, ongoing disaster at a northern NHS Trust that encapsulates the crisis that is engulfing the NHS to such a catastrophic extent that the International Red Cross declared it an emergency and was forced to step in to prevent a complete collapse at various Trusts across the country.
And it showed that the Prime Minister, Theresa May, is not only aware of what’s happening – but is trying to keep hidden from the British public.
In the segment in question, a BBC journalist spoke to a senior clinician at a major Trust in the north about scale of crisis the Trust was facing. Here’s how the journalist described what he heard:
Well, I’ve never heard words like this and I’ve been a journalist for 27 years.
I’ve been told there was a meeting at one of these hospitals last Thursday. About a hundred members of staff were there, including consultants, nurses and department heads and union leaders.
They were told by the hospital Chief Executive that the average ambulance wait should have been 8 minutes but they were actually 40 minutes for urgent things like chest pains.
And one man had a cardiac arrest and waited 5 hours on a trolley in A&E, that’s just at this hospital.
The trust had bought in extra beds, even though there was no money to do it. And the staff were told it was the worst the trust had ever seen in its history.
They shut out patients, they considered cancelling cancer patient treatment for whom they couldn’t do it safely because of low staffing levels.
Unions were there because nurses were unhappy saying that the staff were being moved between departments and it left them feeling as if they were working unsafely.
And I’ve been told the hospital Chief Executive told the staff ‘if you or your family live here and make a 999 call, you are at serious risk of not receiving the treatment you need’.
And then it was suggested, the Chief Executive of the hospital should go to the press.
And the response was that they’d been given instructions, that Theresa May, the Prime Minister, didn’t want any of this to get out.
As the BBC reporter observed, this hospital is just one of many experiencing this scale of disaster. For example, Mid Essex Trust has implemented shocking emergency measures, as health journalist Shaun Lintern discovered:
Jeremy Hunt, the worst Health Secretary in history, claimed yesterday that there is no NHS crisis, stating that ‘only one or two’ are struggling. Theresa May – in spite of being called out by the Chair of the Commons Health Committee who is a member of the Tory party – continues to claim that the government is putting £10bn more into the NHS.
Not only are May and Hunt flat-out lying about Tory treatment of the NHS, but Theresa May has ‘given instructions’ to NHS executives to keep the scale of the crisis she has caused secret.
When a governing party is prepared to tell outright lies on the most important thing we have as a country and to instruct those who run hospitals to hide the truth, we have a bandit government.
And there’s only one way to deal with bandits. Bring them down and lock them up. Let’s make sure Mrs May’s desire for secrecy is thwarted.
Our NHS, our health and the health of our loved ones demand it.
(Hat-tip to @summerof69Nine for invaluable help with the transcript)
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