Analysis Breaking

Senior medic challenges politicians to spend shift in NHS disaster they’ve created: ‘prepare for the rush’

Vice-president of Royal College of Emergency Medicine Ian Higgingson doesn’t expect to be trampled in the rush of politicians coming to experience appalling situation they’ve created

RCEM Vice-President Ian Higginson

Ian Higginson, Vice-President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, has challenged politicians to come and experience for themselves the horrors faced by NHS staff and patients, in an interview on Sky News.

The broadcaster published a short clip of Higginson’s comments, saying that medics cannot treat patients in car parks – but omitted to include his challenge to the government and opposition, forcing him to point out what he had said:

Clearly Ian Higginson does not expect many, or any, politicians to take up the challenge


The Tories have created the crisis in the NHS intentionally. It is not the inevitable consequence of ‘pressures’ from winter or covid that they and their media allies present – twelve years of Tory government, deliberately fracturing the NHS into ‘cost centres’ with inadequate resources and closing hundreds of facilities and tens of thousands of beds, have seen crises every winter, and then seen the ‘winter crisis’ become a year-round phenomenon. Now the NHS is in continuous collapse – and was there before the pandemic, making a mockery of claims that pandemic pressures are the cause.

But Labour in its current form is not the solution and the party regime carries guilt for the situation too – Keir Starmer and Wes Streeting are promising more privatisation as a solution, shredding Starmer’s leadership campaign promise to renationalise the NHS and other vital national services. Both have accepted large donations from private health interests, both support the plan to close yet more facilities in favour of large regional centres and ‘community treatment’ and have attacked NHS staff and especially immigrants working in the NHS.

As long as this situation continues, simply putting more money into the NHS that goes straight out into private profits will never solve the problem – only genuine renationalisation and the permanent obliteration of the profit motive will allow the NHS to be restored as the national treasure it should always be and then every penny going into the NHS will improve it instead of fattening the bank accounts of the already obscenely wealthy while people suffer and die for lack of prompt, and sometimes any, treatment.

And no one can say they weren’t warned. For more than a decade, staff and campaigners have been pointing out what has happened. Their predictions are now horrifyingly true.

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  1. 8 tory MPs are doctors and have worked in hospitals during the crisis they helped to create. Not sure how they consider themselves worthy to be doctors, knowing what they have done to the NHS. The only doctor/MP who speaks out against what is happening in Rosena Allin-Khan, who is a labour MP and an emergency medical doctor. In order to continue with their medical accreditation, they have to continue their professional development, which is why they should know exactly what is happening in the NHS, and obviously condone it.

      “Shadow Mental Health Minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan wants the Tories to hire more NHS mental health workers to cut crippling waiting lists
      Private mental health providers made £1.37million a day from the NHS in 2020-21, figures suggest.
      Yet four in 10 services from main providers are “inadequate” or “require improvement” for patient safety.
      Shadow Mental Health Minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan wants the Tories to hire more NHS mental health workers to cut crippling waiting lists.
      She said: “Every day is Christmas for the shareholders of private mental healthcare companies.
      “While waiting lists grow and patients are receiving inadequate treatment, private providers are laughing all the way to the bank.
      “ Labour will recruit an additional 8,500 staff ensuring early support for everyone within four weeks, and access to counsellors in every school, so everyone can get the early treatment they need.”

    2. Liam Fox was a GP, he lectured to the Heritage Foundation and also stood for president of WTO (fortunately did not win). This is the calibre of the doctors who are Tory MP’s.

  2. That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital.

    Noam Chomsky,

    1. I don’t go along with our barricade fighting chum, Naom on matters of medical emergencies. His answer’s are a bit, questionable. Yeah, I know that he and his mate wrote that book. All over the net we get references to that book, 1984 and bloody Huxley. Faux socialists. Time to think for ourselves, the world has changed. We are all not one phone call away from lives of comfort and ease. The unions are part of this and so are the medics. Those of us who were berated and attacked during the scam have been proven right, convid and its repressive treatments were created to enrich some and destroy the NHS as we knew it. Pass the masks please.

      1. Exactly Wobbly and the profiteers inside the NHS have a lot to answer for including MPs of all parties who swim in the filth of privatization of peoples lives.
        How much are the lives of the hungry working class worth?…..Nothing and worthless to a neo liberal nightmare the House of horrors.parliament.The people deserve better…..God save the working class.!

  3. When the previous CEO of the NHS (Simon Stevens) was employed by UNITED HEALTH – one of America’s largest healthcare providers .

  4. The NHS is being deliberately run-down to bolster the current concerted ‘establishment controlled’ media narrative (BBC, Sky, ITV, Ch4 et al) that the monolithic NHS is unwieldy and simply unaffordable, and thus primed for privatisation. The Tories’ inside man, Sir Keir ‘ establishment stooge’ Starmer and Mr ‘get rich quick’ Wes Streeting probably plan to retire at the election after next, having done the Tories’ dirty work, by opening the floodgates to the US private healthcare industry. In turn, taking non-executive seats on boards and luxuriating in their ill-gotten gains as the public face crippling annual healthcare insurance premiums as per the US fully privatised model, where how to pay healthcare premium, is their major cost-of-living concern.

    Honestly think that Tories ‘in-the-know’ are hoping for a large Labour majority so their inside crew: Starmer, Streeting and Reeves can get to work unravelling what they cannot.

    Two things left-wing MPs, concerned unions and leftist voters need to try to ensure:

    i. Try to get cast iron commitments ‘on-record’ from Starmer, Reeves and Streeting that the NHS will remain free and publicly funded. Furthermore, no moves will be undertaken that threaten the funding model.
    ii. Try to ensure Labour don’t get a overall Blairite 1997-2005 style majority to railroad things through; vote Green or abstain if the poll leads remain as they currently are. As 2003 (Iraq + NHS marketisation) and the New Labour’s authoritarian agenda showed,right-wing New Labour armed with a big majority are a complete nightmare.

    1. This is what Wes Streeting actually said

      BBC HARDtalk – Wes Streeting – Shadow Health Secretary, UK
      Stephen Sackur speaks to Wes Streeting, rising star of the UK Labour party and their shadow health secretary. . Nurses are striking, the health service is in trouble; does Labour have a credible plan to fix public services and save the UK from a winter of economic discontent?

      1. Pet Shop boys fan(?) Wes Streeting is as slimy as politicians come imho. He’s like some OTT caricature villain from a video game. His constant smirk and shiftiness screams ‘untrustworthy’ plus insincerity.

        If, and yes, at this point it’s only ‘if’ he opens the door to the full privatisation of the NHS he’ll be made a very rich man indeed, as will Starmer. Cynical, yes I am, but look at staggering £22 billion!!! on a ‘track & trace’ app. And the alleged corruption around PPE contracts that Labour remain relatively quiet about. £10 billion to Ukraine, thus far and ongoing, that goes unmentioned by the opposition. The UK has financial corruption and MPs get to mark their own homework.

      2. Reply to Steve H
        Typical of the BBC lauding the appalling Wes Streeting as a Rising Star in UK Labour.
        The man is a nasty bully but he is one of Israel’s Friends so both Starmer and the BBC are happy to turn a blind eye to his loutish behaviour.

    2. Reply to Andy
      I agree with most of what you say Andy but in relation to getting a cast iron “on record” commitment from Starmer Reeves and Streeting that the NHS will remain free and publicly funded I would make two points
      1 the NHS is not free. We pay for it with our aptly named National Insurance Contributions.
      2 No commitment made by Starmer Reeves or Streeting can be relied on They are unprincipled political opportunists whose word means nothing- remember Starmer’s 10 pledges?

      1. Smartboy

        re: Streeting, have you seen this Twitter exchange?

        Trust him with the NHS? Imaging had that been Corbyn’s Shadow health secretary and what the media would have done with it. Will Wes want to sell the NHS’s assets in a fire sale?

      2. Smartboy

        NIF isn’t earmarked though. NIF appears to be hypothecated (to use the correct terminology) i.e. reserved for a specific purpose, it isn’t. It’s just a misleadingly-named extra income tax. Just as road tax doesn’t go on the roads.

      3. Reply to Andy
        I had never heard of this before Andy -I am genuinely shocked.
        I have always based my feeling about this man on his vile bullying of Diane Abbott and his attempts/ threats to use Labour party legal expertise/funds to pursue personal vendettas against anyone who upsets him.
        He is such a hypocrite as well – he made nasty mental health/ageist comments about Jeremy Corbyn recently which he apologised for – can you imagine his reaction if someone had made homophobic comments about him? Would an apology have been enough? not likely – he’d have demanded that they were kicked out of the party, probably taken legal action against them as well and fought for maximum compensation for his “hurt feelings” plus costs. He is very precious about his rights and his dignity while trampling all over the rights and dignity of others .He is a disgrace.
        If Streeting ever becomes Health Secretary in a Starmer government the NHS will be finished- they’ll sell it off without any qualms – they are paving the way for this already.

      4. Reply to Andy at 3.47pm
        Thanks for this info – however we still pay for the NHS -its not free.

      5. They all use the “free”, bit. They are beneath contempt.

      6. Smartboy

        Odd response, wasn’t it, lol, hardly emphatic.

        Could explain why the original Pet Shop Boy, Wes, never goes to watch the footie, he’s possibly been advised to never go near matches.

      7. What would he be doing if he wasn’t an MP.. hmm…let’s think, possibly running a successful small business:

        Wes’ Pet crematorium

      8. Late reply. Linking back from Starmers abject contribution about patients self diagnosing and referring themselves ro specialists. Well done all on Skwawky who have seen the future from ages ago. Back to the tardis. As for Street ingredients and his band, I’m a Deadhead and I don’t need a dose of my favourite to see through his plans.

  5. “The Tories have created the crisis in the NHS intentionally.”

    The terrible conflict in the Ukraine has also been deliberately created too in order to benefit the arms industry and in order to promote regime change in Russia.

  6. I would like to encourage a local retired hospital Dr/ GP/nurse to stand against Wes Streeting at the next General Election on a platform of saving the NHS and reverse privatisation.
    My guess is with a good campaign from a local living in the Constituency Streeting wouldn’t know what has hit him.

        By Bob Gill, but he’s not local to Streeting is he? By the way the NHS is supposed to be free at the point of need, not free to everybody. Or as Nye Bevan said, “No society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of a lack of means.”

    1. Maria – My guess is that the most likely outcome would be that they would loose their deposit.
      Wes Streeting overturned a Tory majority of 10.5% when he won the Ilford North seat in 2015 with a very marginal majority of only 1.2% but since then he has consolidated his position and now enjoys a majority of 10.4% with a vote share of 50.5%.
      The MRP polls are projecting that the Tories will lose 18 of the 21 seats they currently hold in London and that Streeting will increase his vote share by a further 10%+ to 60%+ with a comfortable majority of 39% at the next general election.

      1. SteveH on 2017 and 2019, Streeting increased its majority under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Hence, the left of the LP will have fought to ensure Wes keeping the seat in order to protect Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party..
        If the next General Election is on 2024, the GE will be fought on the new boundaries. Guess what?Streeting’s seat will lose solid labour wards and gain marginal Tory wards.
        I am not saying that a left challenger will win (although possible) rather than Streeting will most likely lose the seat, as the local left would not longer have a leader to protect and not sure it will come out to canvass/vote for Streeting.

      2. Sorry but I think you are deluding yourselves. Given that the Conservatives are facing annihilation (the loss of 18 out of 21 seats in London) I doubt that the boundary changes will make much difference either way..

      3. SteveH, a year is a long time in politics. Something that we know about the Tories is that they will find a new leader if Sunak isn’t going to get the vote.
        Remember 1993? 2015? Labour was going to win those GE too, until it didn’t. Starmer has divided the LP, parachute candidates against the wishes of the local CLPs and divided Parties don’t win GE elections.

      4. Maria – Please don’t forget to come back and tell me all about it after the next GE 🙄

      5. Two Cheeks
        Polls rarely reflect reality
        Not a snowball’s chance of Red Tories winning a majority

      6. Doug – Really? it is undeniable that the polls accurately predicted the vote share for the 19GE.
        Labour have been consistently ahead in the polls for over 12 months now,

    2. Maria, that’s not the worst idea that I have heard. In fact it could fly. Ex Labour activists, trade unionists, community groups and others could be persuaded to go on the knock and the phones. What constituency does that particular germ infest? Nice one, we’d help.

      1. Woobly, Streeting is the MP for Ilford North. The change in boundaries make Streeting seat less safe as is due to lose safe Labour controlled wards and gain Tory marginal wards.
        We need to think about what MPs should lose their seats, if anything to prevent them standing for the leadership of the Party should Starmer be forced to resign after the next GE.

  7. 1 the NHS is not free. We pay for it with our aptly named National Insurance Contributions.

    And don’t forget the car park charge before you’ve even got through the door.

  8. ….and meanwhile the Tories are planning another pay-cut for NHS staff.

    NHS strikes could run for months as Tories plan fresh pay cuts for staff next year
    Unions and the NHS leaders fear Health Secretary Steve Barclay will seek to limit next year’s pay rise for healthcare staff other than doctors and dentists to just 2% – amounting to a real terms wage cut
    Nurses are set to go on strike again this month, along with ambulance staff

  9. How about all of us writing to our MPs asking them to take up Ian Higginson’s challenge? We might also ask them to address the delays in emergency care that are currently resulting in the deaths of up to 500 people a week too.

  10. “Free at the point of delivery “and that is what encapsulates the whole principle of the NHS.
    I caution against saying the NHS is not free because that is exactly the argument for privatisation of the NHS and those who talk of efficiency and cost savings by privateers who are little more than carpetbaggers and thieves who which to devalue the currency of “Free at the point of delivery.and deliver a insurance based Health service.Just look at your care services to judge what outside contracters get up to with the elderly and vulnerable and weep…!No its not free but its inevitable that theres a cost effective solution in the size of the buying power and process of a large public owned NHS and a GP service for the people not the GPs who have always opposed a public owned National Health service although admittedly there are many good GPs who are active in a public owned National Health service.

    1. We need to nail a popular myth of an ageing popualation and therefore bigger cost to NHS
      Not True, our elderly population is increasingly living longer due to better health
      The extra demand comes from an explosion in Obesity and Poverty

  11. Steve H its rare that you are correct in exposing the privatization of the NHS.I would hope that you continue with the good work and expose streeting and the other parasites like your leader and the bulk of the Labour mps who have no morals or in feeding from the trough of dismantling the NHS and partaking in handouts from privateers sucking the lifeblood of the NHS and the legacy of a Labour government after the war that gave us public services second to none in the world…..I

  12. Back on 2002 then toerag leader, Dummkopf-schmitt, went to Easterhouse in Glasgow, to see for himself the effects of abject poverty.

    Years later he became DWP SoS, and his final solution to the problem was?

    Yep…Impose MORE poverty. Punish people for the heinous crime of being poor….All measures backed (by virtue of craven acquiescence) by post-bliarite (and now smarmerite) labour.

    WT absolute F is it, that makes people believe most politicians would do anything different regarding the NHS?

    I (for one) am sick to bastard death of seeing the beyond-useless ponces, performing photo opportunites while rolling their sleeves up and traipsing around, annoying the sick, lying helpless on their trolleys in the backs of ambulances or hospital corridors?

    All’s this does is call 99% of (English, at least) politicians out for the useless, spineless, avaricious gobshites they are.

    But we already KNOW that.

    1. Toffee, I wish that I could have liked that many times. Read it out to Julie. There was snot running down her nose when she pictured the swine and their photo-opping. ‘ annoying the helpless etc’, one for the scrapbook I haven’t got.

  13. No doubt Toffee you are up in the early hours looking after elderly relatives at a personal cost to yourself in health and wellbeing like millions of others free of charge to prop up a system that is being destroyed by our so called representatives in parliamentp
    parasite carpetbaggers wealthy beyond redemption or understanding.
    I honestly don’t know what will happen to the country without a NHS or public services but if the manufactured recession(slump)is anything to go by then it will make life living for the invisible working class intolerable
    .The establishment and new world order unelected have no mandate from the people but theres no longer any Opposition inside the system to stop them.God bless those who oppose and hope that those who perpetuates “Crimes against the people” will soon get their just desserts and rot in hell..

  14. Sad to hear of the recent death of Alice Mahon, former MP for Halifax.
    She was one of only 13 Labour MPs who opposed the bombing of Kosovo back in 1999.

    I thought at the time that those MPs were right and I still do. NATO’s attack set a very dangerous precedent and helped make the world a more dangerous place.

    The war was based on lies. Lord Gilbert, Minister of Defence at the time, later admitted:

    “the terms put to Milosevic at Rambouillet [the international conference preceding the war] were absolutely intolerable … it was quite deliberate”.

    Here is the tribute to her from the STWC:

      1. We are slowly losing our best and fiercest. Time is running out and it is becoming increasingly more difficult to talk to youngsters about anything let alone the necessity of socialism to bring peace, the end of poverty and stopping the intentional destruction of our planet. I find that one way to engage with the preoccupied youth is to get them to talk about their favourite single issue and to use that as a platform to expand the debate. The obsessions with identity, colour, whatever are our ways in to then talk about true justice, peace and health before profit, privilege and power. It ain’t easy which is why I supported the earlier post concerning the standing of a medic against Screeching. They really don’t know the awful position that exists in the whole world and how the possibility of a nuclear war has moved from being pessimistic to possible.

  15. There is a debate to be had about the future of the NHS – after so many years there seems to be a failure to see the correlation between tax cuts and declining NHS provision. Clapping remains free at the point of delivery but not so much healthcare for a developed nation of 60 million people.
    With limited knowledge I’d venture that a health service meeting the needs of everyone is unattainable and unaffordable, so an understanding of what it could do and what it will cost has to be the basis of a long-term (ie beyond the term-based politicking that has decimated provision in favour of tax bribes) settlement that could be akin to the % of GDP model (and yes I know that hasn’t worked so well for Foreign Aid).

    1. goldbach – ………..and? ¯⁠\⁠_⁠(⁠ツ⁠)⁠_⁠/⁠¯
      A 23% lead would still give Labour an enormous majority.

  16. I see that McCarthy has failed again (9th time) to get elected as Leader of the House.
    Wasn’t it Albert Einstein who said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

    1. It’s 10 now. Here’s Seth Meyer’s comical take on it after 8:

      Boebert and Hannity Clash, Republicans Turn On Trump Amid GOP Speaker Chaos: A Closer Look

    2. Apologies – I was so amused that I said “Leader of the House” instead of “Speaker”.
      Now it’s 11 and they’ve gone home, only to return tomorrow.

      1. Incidentally, it seems that two of the reasons that the GOP “leadership” is having such trouble are that they (those who control the party machine) diverted election funding away from those Republicans whom they didn’t want to see elected and into support for their proteges, and that they (those who control the party machine) supported the Biden administration in getting their spending programme approved before the new Congress was convened.
        An opposition supporting the government and, at the same time, trying to make sure that some of its own candidates didn’t get elected. Now where have I heard of that kind of thing before?

      2. goldbach – “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

        After 15 attempts their ‘perseverance’ has finally paid off.

      3. Indeed. The perseverance of the populists finally drove McCarthy to do some horse trading.
        Legislation to be brought to the floor through the traditional committee system route rather than stitched up behind closed doors.
        A seat on the House Rules Committee.
        A committee Chair(wo)manship for the populists.
        Budget “constraints”.
        Early votes on issues dear to the hearts of the populists.
        And, backing it all up, the ability to call a vote to remove the speaker to be in the hands of any one representative.
        Though we may not be in sympathy with some of the issues that the populists want to pursue, they have won the right to pursue them. An outbreak of democracy.

    3. A lot of Republican grass roots dont trust Globalists and thats the problem with the invisible system of puppeteer politics were the man for the job is slotted in by the unelected world order…The only good thing about the USA is that ordinary people are able to fight back against tyrants and have the ability and weapons to do it.
      A constitution is a good start…shame about Britain and the weapons are firmly in the hands of the establishment not joe public..I never thought I’d ever support people power and weapons but times are rapidly changing and so am I.

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