Responding to the desperate situation in the NHS, the Prime Minister announced in his first major speech of 2023 that cutting waiting lists was one of his key pledges. However, these pledges on the NHS are not new – he was re-iterating those already made in the NHS’s elective recovery plan published last year, including making sure the waiting list was falling by 2024.
A day earlier his spokesperson denied there was a crisis in the NHS and asserted that the NHS is getting all the funding it needs, prompting leading NHS professionals to accuse the government of being ‘delusional’ about the state of the NHS.
A spokesperson for the government deflected the blame by saying: “This is certainly an unprecedented challenge for the NHS, brought about by a number of factors, most significantly the global pandemic.” adding, “We are confident we are providing the NHS with the funding it needs, as we did throughout the pandemic, to deal with these issues.”
Dr Vishal Sharma, the chair of the consultants committee at the British Medical Association (BMA), which represents most of Britain’s doctors, said:
“For staff working in the NHS or any patients desperately trying to access care, No 10’s refusal to admit that the NHS is in crisis will seem simply delusional. To try to reassure us that ministers are confident the NHS has all the funding it needs, at a time when families are seeing relatives left in pain at home or on trolleys in hospital, is taking the public for fools.”
Full story in The Lowdown, 6 January 2023