Hunt refusing interviews as NHS cancels all non-urgent ops and outpatients

hunt evasive.png
Jeremy Hunt looking hunted last year

In spite of public anger over the absence of Transport Secretary Chris Grayling today as a major increase in rail fares was announced, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has refused requests for interviews as news broke that NHS England is telling hospitals to cancel all non-urgent operations and outpatient appointments for the whole month of January.

This is far from the first time that Hunt has gone ‘AWOL’ – or hidden – during an NHS crisis.

Last winter, as the NHS struggled through the 2016/17 winter crisis, Hunt disappeared for weeks before finally emerging to give a weak interview to the BBC in which he stated there were ‘no excuses’ for the NHS disaster – before making a list of excuses and blaming all kinds of things for it.

Except himself, of course.

Now, as hospitals all over England are told to cancel thousands of operations for a whole calendar month – on top of tens of thousands already cancelled before the New Year – the Department of Health (DH) has, according to Sky News’ political editor, declined to arrange an interview with the so-called Health Secretary:

boadle hunt.png


The winter crisis – now an annual event  – has well and truly struck. And Hunt, true to form, is hiding rather than leading.

Cabinet ministers disappearing or being unavailable during crises and key questions seems to be the norm for the Tories – Hunt, Gauke, Grayling and now Hunt again.

How much longer can this excuse for a government limp on as the best of our country collapses around us under its mismanagement?

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. The “Crisis” is and has been an all year round one in Staffordshire for years. Very sick children forced to travel further to wait for over five hours to be seen, this is progress……….Jeremy Hunt and NHS England are guilty of causing avoidable suffering and deaths on a grand scale. This a is not only a Staffordshire scandal it is a countrywide scandal which is working the staff into the ground.

  2. “How much longer can this excuse for a government limp on as the best of our country collapses around us under its mismanagement?”

    To normal, rational, moral people it does appear like mismanagement but I feel strongly the collapsing NHS England is intentional and designed by this Tory regime. This regime is apparently determined to ensure the last stages of transformation of NHS from a cost effective, world renowned, publically funded service provided not for profit and based on need to a US style private/insurance model with a sparse, poor quality public service (probably to be means tested) for those excluded from insurance or unable to afford it.

    The May regime is largely no longer publically accountable nor feels obliged to answer for or act to ameliorate the suffering and despair it is inflicting on millions who are not part of the wealthy vested interest class and structures it serves and doles out public welfare to to the tune of many £billions…
    UK is under authoritarian rule that is working closely with wealthy private vested interests to rig the economy and public services in the interests of those same interests and politicians and public servants who serve that system… surely this is a form of fascism?

    Lest we forget the disgusting part MSM and so called public service media have played that effectively obscured the big agenda especially re NHS England.

    1. It ( the Govt ) will limp on for as long as idiots keep voting Tory for it .
      Hunt is no longer personally responsible legally for the NHS as this Tory Govt changed those rules accordingly . Thus of course he will piss of and hide somewhere as he has nothing to account for anymore.
      No doubt there will be folks who’s operations have been cancelled who also vote Tory and those stupid stubborn idiots will probably continue to do so , no amount of sympathy for them but more for those innocent folks who sensibly voted Labour .

  3. Got to give him the benefit of the doubt though – maybe he has a sore throat or a broken nail or something?
    Or maybe there’s a very good explanation that he just needs a little more time to think of?
    Maybe he’s been kidnapped?
    Fact finding mission to somewhere with a working health service?
    If not we have to consider the possibility that he’s without moral fibre, honour, courage or a clue.

  4. Well sums up our future with May as she sees him as promotional material- figures I suppose. Failure must be rewarded – Tory way.
    Give it few months and we will see Greens Knighthood. Still got a hangover from his rich living over fesive season I expect.

  5. This is all getting so predictable. If it were not so serious and tragic it would be boring. But it’s not boring to see the Tories forcing our health service down the tubes and people’s lives with it, while Hunt hides.

  6. “the collapsing NHS England”, the collapsing police service England,” the collapsing rail service England”

    – it’s all part of “shrinking the state”

    As long as people vote Conservative – what else do they expect?

  7. The impacts of deferring routine outpatient appointments where this will release clinical time for non-elective care is huge as some of those patients could potentially end up in A&E, if time runs out for the patients before the NHS can catch up.

    Mr Hunt probably slept a lot better than I did last night. My 17 year old (currently studying for the equivalent of 3 A levels with a view to entering the world of healthcare once her studies are complete) is one of those who will require an operation within the next 12 months as a necessity. First appointment of the year is scheduled for next week I hardly slept at all last night worrying about what may happen if her appointments are deferred. The prospect of a visit to A&E with a teenager entering heart failure could be a real possibility if her consultants are moved to the Emergency Department. I like many others are waking up this morning hoping their loved ones are placed on the urgent list and that their appointments will proceed.

    Welcome to 2018.

  8. The transport secretary was accused of “running scared” yesterday after flying abroad as anger grew over the biggest rail fare rise in five years.

    Times today – has its own agenda

  9. its unexceptable, that what he gives when questioned.
    That’s his answer everytime, it’s deliberate no question about it.
    If it wasn’t he would have been sacked years ago, not only for the decline but for his pathetic it is unexceptable and do nothing interviews

  10. This is all part of the Tory plan to destroy our precious NHS. First underfund, create a crisis and then use MSM to inform the people that the NHS is failing so the ignorant masses will accept that there is no alternative but to privatise. Little do they know that this privatisation , under Accountable Care Organisations will lead us to a 2 tier, insurance based Americanisation healthcare system where people will die. In the meantime NHS assets are being sold off to private investors at bargain based prices and soon we will have nothing left

  11. If he is not responsible anymore under the new rules surely his job is now redundant. If he is responsible then he is technically employed by the tax payers of this country and should not be allowed to dodge any questions or interviews

  12. The only thing I can agree with Neil Kinnock on was when he said, “theses Tories are rotten to the core”, Hunt is allowing the collapse to happen not because we can’t afford the NHS, but that because he is creating the conditions to hand the NHS over to the private sector so that some will get rich where a large proportion of people not be able to access care.

    To ask the following question is to understand the Neo-Liberal agenda.

    If the cheapest most efficient health service in world can’t survive, how will privatising it improve the situation? The logic speaks for itself, this is not about delivering service but profits for the few.

    For those willing to give these lying Tories the benefit of the doubt, ask them why the NHS was created in the first place? Why the Tories opposed it, and why is it that the NHS is always in crisis when they get into government, again the answer is obvious.

    They are deliberately destroying the NHS and all our public services to hand power and wealth to few not the many.

    Where are all the real jobs Thatcher promised, why has the economy crashed since she came along?

    We know the answer, because it’s obvious, Neo-Liberalism.

  13. I perceive a correlation between the decline in the NHS (and the severity of the winter crises) with the increase in privatisation. So it is with Branson et al (along with Hunt) that the blame firmly lies.

  14. “We know the answer, because it’s obvious, Neo-Liberalism.”

    You’ve prompted me to point people to Richard Murphy’s take on the NHS crisis with brief historical context of neoliberal ideology.

    I always find the bizarre neoliberal view that ‘Socialism is the road to serfdom’ highly ironic. Neoliberalism is producing a neo feudal system explained in this discussion with Michael Hudson..

  15. who decides what is routine? the people in misery or the bastards in government? why dont the people rise up and get rid of these politicians? where is the labour party?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: