General election: Boris Johnson lambasted by doctors over ‘unprecedented’ NHS crisis

‘Under this government’s watch, patients and staff working in the NHS have endured winter after winter of overcrowded emergency departments, long delays and pitifully low staffing levels,’ BMA chair says

Henry Austin
Sunday 03 November 2019 00:47
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Junior Doctor who was 'pushed aside' when she tried to talk to Boris Johnson calls his visit a 'PR stunt'

Doctors have accused Boris Johnson of only recognising an “unprecedented” NHS crisis coming this winter because of fears it will hamper the Tories chances in the general election.

“Under this government’s watch, patients and staff working in the NHS have endured winter after winter of overcrowded emergency departments, long delays and pitifully low staffing levels,” said British Medical Association chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul. “It should not take an election to take stock of just how bad the situation has become.

“Staff are already coming under extreme pressure, trolley waits are at a worryingly high level, A&E targets are not being met and as such, the BMA predicts that the NHS is hurtling towards an unprecedented crisis this winter.”

His comments came after it emerged that Downing Street has taken emergency action to head off winter pressures in the NHS, because the Tories fear that it will hurt their campaign with the first December election since 1923 looming.

Downing Street has been planning to set up its own NHS “operations unit” to tackle the problems faced by the health service, The Observer reported.

Downing Street insiders, however, said they did not recognise the report.

The criticism came as the prime minister faced calls to permanently ban fracking after performing a major U-turn to suspend the controversial process over earthquake concerns.

Jeremy Corbyn said imposing the moratorium in the run-up to the vote was an “election stunt”, after Andrea Leadsom, the business secretary, said the position could be reversed.

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The suspension came after an Oil and Gas Authority report found it is not possible to accurately predict the probability or magnitude of earthquakes linked to fracking.

Ms Leadsom said the suspension was a “disappointment” and made it clear it will only be in place “until the science changes”.

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