Doctors accuse Theresa May of being ‘in denial’ over NHS hospital crisis

Healthcare unions have disputed the pertinence of Theresa May’s claim that NHS funding is at record levels, saying she is in “denial” over overwhelming demand and bed shortages.

The Prime Minister rejected a warning from British Red Cross that hospitals are facing a “humanitarian crisis” after the organisation stepped in to support the overstretched health service.

 Ms May acknowledged the NHS was under pressure but told Sky News the Government was addressing the issue of an ageing population, adding that health funding was at record levels.

“We asked the NHS a while back to set out what it needed over the next five years in terms of its plan for the future and the funding that it would need. They did that, we gave them that funding, in fact we gave them more funding than they required,” she said.

“Funding is now at record levels for the NHS, more money has been going in.”

But Mark Porter, council chair of the British Medical Association, said spiralling patient numbers and the lack of additional funding provided for health and social care meant the service was still struggling in real terms.

Rehana Azam, head of public services at GMB, the largest union in the ambulance services, told The Independent Ms May’s comments carried a “level of denial”.

And Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite, said Ms May was “in danger of being ‘economical with the actualité’ on the issues of NHS funding”.

Full story in The Independent 8 January 2017