Commenting on remarks made today (Wednesday) to the Commons Public Accounts Committee by NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens, UNISON head of health Christina McAnea said:
“It’s quite clear from the evidence today that the government’s claim to have ‘protected’ the NHS is a sham. Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt need to start listening to those who run and work in the NHS, and stop pretending that this latest crisis will soon pass.
“More money may not solve all the health service’s problems, but it would take huge pressure off hospitals creaking under the strain.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that every part of the health service is at breaking point, with delays and blockages in one part of the NHS creating headaches elsewhere. Sick people stranded on trolleys in corridors, ambulances stuck outside A&E departments, unable to hand over patients, and the elderly trapped in beds they can’t leave because there’s no cash to pay for their care at home.
“The fact that it still continues to treat and care for most patients effectively and safely is a tribute to the staff working in the NHS who get on and do their job day in and day out.
“Simon Stevens is right to say we’re falling behind comparable countries and this is made worse by the complete lack of a national strategy to deal with and fund social care.”
UNISON is calling for an immediate emergency injection of cash into the NHS and a genuine cross-party approach to tackling long-term social care funding.