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BORIS JOHNSON today refused to apologise to a 92-year-old RAF veteran who had been made to wait more than 12 hours on a hospital trolley for a bed.
The Commons showdown saw Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn criticise the Tory government over the record number of patients waiting longer than promised for A&E and cancer treatment.
The number of people waiting more than four hours in A&E is the highest on record, with the number of people waiting on trolleys for ward beds doubling in December.
During Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) Mr Corbyn urged the PM to apologise to WW2 veteran Stan Solomons, from Loughborough, for his ordeal on December 29.
The former pilot was rushed to A&E at Leicester Royal Infirmary over a suspected infection but was then left on an uncomfortable trolley, which he kept sliding off, from around midday until midnight before getting a bed. A power cut from 4.20pm to 6pm rendered some equipment unusable.
Mr Solomons has said that he blamed government cuts for his ordeal.
More than 2,000 people had to wait more than 12 hours before being allocate a hospital bed last month, Mr Corbyn told MPs.
However Mr Johnson refused to publicly apologise to Mr Solomons, instead bragging that the Leicester site was being rebuilt as one of his promised “40 new hospitals.”
Mr Corbyn replied that the hospital’s A&E facility had already been rebuilt — and that Mr Johnson’s 40 new hospitals pledge during his general election campaign had turned out to be a mere six.
He said that the Tories should ditch the funding “gimmicks” and match the pledges of the Labour manifesto.
Mr Johnson said he is putting “record” sums of money into the NHS with a £34 billion increase between 2018/19 and 2023/24.
But Keep Our NHS Public co-chairman and paediatrician Dr John Puntis told the Star that this sum would be “woefully inadequate,” equating to just £20.5bn in real terms — and would only be enough to “bring funding back to the levels of 2010.”
He said: “In addition, NHS Trusts have a collective deficit of £14bn. This massive underfunding is now being locked into legislation by the Queen’s speech.”
NHS England figures also show that more people than ever are on waiting lists for cancer treatment.
Mr Corbyn said: “There probably isn’t a family in the United Kingdom which hadn’t been affected in some way by cancer.
“Yet last year we saw one in four patients waiting more than two months for the start of their cancer treatment.
“How many more patients will face what are life-threatening delays because our NHS is under-staffed and under-funded?”
The PM said delays in the NHS are “unacceptable,” adding that the government “will get those waiting lists down.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested that the four-hour A&E waiting time target could be scrapped after data showed only 81.4 per cent of patients were seen and discharged, or admitted to hospital, within that time in November.
The 95 per cent target was last met in July 2015.
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