While Theresa May Ignores ‘NHS Crisis’, Jeremy Hunt Apologises For 55,000 Delayed Operations
Theresa May has claimed that there are "obviously" pressures in cold weather and the NHS is “better prepared than ever before.”

The Prime Minister has been branded out-of-touch for refusing to accept there is a “crisis” in the NHS – moments after her the Secretary of State for Health said sorry for 55,000 delayed operations.

Mrs May said that having to delay operations is “disappointing” but that the NHS is “better prepared for this winter than ever before” when she was questioned by a reporter on a visit to Wokingham: “If this is not a crisis in the NHS this winter, how would you classify it?”

“Can I say a huge thank you to NHS staff for their hard work, they work hard and do a fantastic job for us day in and day out all year round, but obviously there are extra pressures in winter.” She added:

“The NHS has been better prepared for this winter than ever before, we have put extra funding in.”

“There are more beds available across the system, we’ve reduced the number of delayed discharges of elderly people who would otherwise have been in NHS beds rather than in social care.”

“But I recognise for those people that have had their operations postponed this is disappointing, it’s frustrating.”

“We will ensure that those operations are put back as soon as possible and once again I say that NHS staff are doing a fantastic job.”

Tory minister Jeremy Hunt said: “we are going to need to find substantially more resources”. He also added the decision was made to allow “a planned, methodical, thoughtful” approach. He apologised to patients who had faced upheaval, saying: “It’s absolutely not what I want.”

Read More: Reckless Tory Cuts Damage More Than 2.3 Million Older People With Care Needs

Mr Hunt’ remarks come after growing criticism from charities and opposition MPs of the government’s response to the worsening situation in hospitals this winter. He said: “What is different this year compared to last year is that last year we had a lot of operations cancelled at the last minute. A lot of people were called up the day before their operation and told: ‘I’m sorry, it can’t go ahead.’

John Kell, the head of policy of the Patients Association, said politicians’ decisions had left the NHS in its current situation. Mr Kell’s criticism came as the PM praised NHS workers for doing a “fantastic job”.  He said: “Ministers must be accountable for this winter’s crisis. The policy decisions that have left the NHS in this position are taken by the government, and it is ministers who are directly accountable to parliament, and to patients when they vote at elections.”

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