Doctors forced to treat toddler on bed of chairs in A&E corridor – yet our PM continues to turn a blind eye
A TODDLER rushed to A&E had to be treated on a blanket placed on two plastic chairs pushed together as no beds were available, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn revealed yesterday.
He laid into PM Theresa May during Prime Minister’s Questions, saying she was “in denial” about the severe NHS crisis spiralling out of control and had ignored the medical organisations warning her of the chaos.
MPs were stunned into silence as Mr Corbyn recalled that an NHS worker called Sian had contacted him to describe the treatment that her 22-month-old nephew received in A&E.
Mr Corbyn said: “Do the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary think this is an acceptable way of treating a 22-month-old?”
Ms May admitted that there were “a small number of incidents of unacceptable practice” before claiming that the government had promised the NHS some extra cash.
She added that the Tories were standing by their target to have 95 per cent of A&E patients treated within four hours, despite Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt suggesting earlier this week he may water it down.
That target has not been met by NHS hospitals across England since the summer of 2015 and figures revealed on Tuesday showed record numbers of people have experienced long waits in A&E.
An emergency demonstration is being held tomorrow outside the Department of Health calling for Mr Hunt to resign over his conduct.
This comes after two patients died within a week on trolleys in Worcestershire Royal Hospital’s A&E department awaiting a bed.
Mr Hunt responded to these tragedies by claiming that beds were not available because too many patients go to hospital unnecessarily.
The protest organised by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, Junior Doctors Alliance and Health Campaigns Together starts at 6pm.
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth wrote to Mr Hunt yesterday to demand answers on the A&E target and any risk to public health.
Back in the House of Commons, the blinkered Prime Minister also dismissed the British Red Cross’s description of a “humanitarian crisis” in the NHS as “irresponsible and overblown” and tried to rationalise the situation as merely the “reality” of the health service.
Mr Corbyn told her that more money for social care must be brought in so that elderly and vulnerable people were not forced to stay too long in hospital when they are ready to leave because of a lack of home help.
The Royal College of Physicians — one of the organisations which wrote to the government to warn of the crisis — has said the NHS was dealing with its worst ever winter.
Its president Professor Jane Dacre told BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme: “We have heard reports of some hospitals where they have allocated a consultant to be the ‘corridor consultant’ to look after the patients that can’t find beds. That’s unacceptable.”
The Royal College of Nursing has said that nurses have reported the “worst conditions they have ever experienced” and that patients were waiting up to 23 hours in corridors.
British Medical Association council chairman Mark Porter said the government was “wilfully ignoring” the problems.
Society for Acute Medicine president Mark Holland said: “It is truly shocking that our nation’s leader chooses to ignore a unified message from multiple respected bodies. “The PM continues to use isolated statistics to articulate a jaundiced interpretation of the truth.”