Theresa May admits NHS patients are suffering 'unacceptable practices' after hearing of sick toddler's treatment

The Prime Minister makes NHS admission, but sparks anger in the Commons by insisting there are only a 'small number of incidents' - and no crisis

Rob Merrick
Deputy Political Editor
Wednesday 11 January 2017 13:43
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May admits patients suffering 'unacceptable practices' after hearing of sick toddler

Theresa May has admitted NHS patients are suffering “unacceptable practices” after being confronted with the story of a sick toddler treated on hospital chairs because no bed was free.

However, the Prime Minister sparked anger in the Commons when she insisted there were only a “small number of incidents” – rejecting growing fears of a crisis.

Ms May also turned her fire on the Red Cross after it warned of a “humanitarian crisis” in the health service, condemning that language as “irresponsible and overblown”.

Jeremy Corbyn used all six of his Prime Minister’s Questions to urge the Government to step in to tackle the growing problems in the NHS – accusing Ms May of being “in denial”.

And he urged her to “listen to Siân”, who took her 22-month-old nephew into hospital.

The Labour leader said of the case: “There was no bed, he was treated on two plastic chairs, pushed together with a blanket.

“And she says one of the nurses told her sister ‘It’s always like this nowadays’.”

Mr Corbyn added: “Does the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary think this is an acceptable way of treating a 22-month-old child, needing help?”

May calls Red Cross 'irresponsible'

In reply, Ms May said: “I accept there have been a small number of incidents where unacceptable practices have taken place.

“We don’t want those things, but what matters is how you then deal with them.

“That’s why it’s so important that the NHS does look into issues where there are unacceptable incidents that have taken place and then learns lessons from them.”

The Prime Minister also rejected Mr Corbyn’s call to bring forward £700m of promised extra cash for social care from 2019 – insisting more money was already getting through.

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