Analysis comment News

Johnson ignores black-alert hospital for PR stunt, but the one he chose is in trouble, too – like all the English NHS

Johnson’s handlers desperately trying to avoid 3rd NHS humiliation – but there’s nowhere in the NHS Tories haven’t wrecked

Struggling QMC hospital in Notts – and Johnson receiving a dose of truth from an angry dad

Boris Johnson and his handlers chose King’s Mill in Nottinghamshire for his latest NHS ‘PR stunt’ – and immediately came under fire for ignoring a neighbouring hospital that declared a ‘black alert’ only yesterday.

And it’s not the first time – not even the first time this 8-day-old month – that the hospital has had to declare the most serious level of NHS emergency.

But Johnson’s handlers are desperate to avoid scenes of NHS winter crisis – now in any case a year-round phenomenon – so they chose the King’s Mill hospital in nearby Ashfield instead.

“Boris Johnson’s problem is, where can he go to visit an NHS hospital that is not under extreme stress and in danger of collapse? The answer is simple: nowhere – at least in the English NHS, which the Tories control.”

However, Johnson’s alternative choice for his stunt today has also suffered repeated black alerts – and is under extreme stress now. So extreme that the hospital’s chief executive went to the extraordinary lengths of commenting about it publicly earlier this week on social media:

Johnson was obviously desperate to avoid a repeat of the scenes last week at Addenbrooke’s hospital, where he was booed out of the building by angry NHS staff and patients – even though he had made a surprise visit and none of them were expecting him.

But Boris Johnson’s problem is, where can he go to visit an NHS hospital that is not under extreme stress and in danger of collapse? The answer is simple: nowhere – at least in the English NHS, which the Tories control.

When Johnson went to a neo-natal unit in September – long before the general election campaign – he was confronted by the angry father of a baby who had almost died because the staff are so overstretched. Johnson barely knew where to put himself:

Just this week, hospitals in other parts of the country have been forced to seek help because not a single bed was free. The Tories have cut thousands of beds and millions of patient bed-days – 5.5 million as long ago as early 2017, so far more now.

The image of sick toddler Jack Newman asleep across two plastic chairs went viral at the time as a symbol of the Tory cuts – but things have only gone downhill since then:

And the situation is a blanket one across all of England, whose NHS is still under the blighted hand of Tory control.

When Johnson was booed out of Addenbrooke’s, a brave young doctor in training spoke out about why – and it was not an issue confined to Addenbrooke’s, but an endemic one:

So where can Boris Johnson go? His options are the same as those of the millions of patients looking for a hospital that is not on the verge of collapse – none.

In Tory Britain, patients die at home waiting for ambulances, or in ambulances waiting for admission – or in waiting rooms and corridors waiting for a bed – while doctors, nurses and other health staff break down in illness or despair because of the intolerable pressures they face daily.

No Tory PR stunt can hide that – and no choice of hospital venue can change or mask the reality.

If you care about the NHS – or for that matter yourself and your loved ones – there is only one choice: vote Labour.

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  1. On the Victoria Derbyshire programme this morning a Tory claimed the party had no intention of privatising the NHS and the claim went unchallenged.
    You only have to Google it.
    Greg Clark, David Gauke, Michael Gove, Daniel Hannan, Jeremy Hunt and Kwasi Kwarteng all contributed to a policy book put together by Douglas Carswell called “Direct Democracy: An Agenda For A New Model Party” in 2005.
    Nobody outside the BBC is naive enough to believe the Tories have given up on privatising the NHS since then.

    The NHS in desperate condition is the main plank of the plan, the theory being that all they have to do is break it badly enough and the people will cry out for privatisation.
    The plan’s well behind schedule and hundreds of thousands more deaths are still necessary but if Corbyn’s Labour didn’t keep frustrating the Tories in Parliament for political gain it’d all be over by now.
    Torytopia. Sunlit uplands.
    The next hundred thousand deaths are on us, like the delays to Brexit – vile Marxist manipulation causing countless deaths just to make the heroic Johnson look incompetent.
    We really are despicable.

  2. Thinking about it : Doesn’t a Johnson visit count as a ‘Black Alert’ in itself?

    It should do.

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