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THE father of a sick baby girl dramatically confronted Boris Johnson over NHS cuts when the Prime Minister visited a London hospital today.
Mr Johnson was touring Whipps Cross University Hospital in north-east London when he was challenged by Omar Salem on a children’s ward.
"The NHS is being destroyed". pic.twitter.com/kjCWtTSc1x
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) September 18, 2019
Mr Salem, a Labour activist, has a seven-day old baby who is gravely ill and was admitted to A&E on last night. The child was not seen by a doctor for several hours after being put on a ward.
In a heated exchange Mr Salem told the PM: “The NHS has been destroyed … and now you come here for a press opportunity.”
Mr Johnson claimed “there’s no press here.” But Mr Salem pointed at media cameras filming the confrontation and said: “What do you mean there’s no press here, who are these people?”
The PM claimed he was “here to find out” about hospital conditions but Mr Salem said: “It’s a bit late isn’t it? Years and years and years of the NHS being destroyed.”
The dad told Mr Johnson: “There are not enough people on this ward. There are not enough doctors, there’s not enough nurses — it’s not well organised enough.”
Reacting to the incident Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth MP said: “Boris Johnson simply can’t be honest with people.
“He can make as many phoney announcements on the NHS as he likes but he can’t hide from the truth, or from patients.
“The Tories have plunged the health service into crisis through years of cuts and privatisation and the Prime Minister can’t run from the consequences this has had for patient care.
“You can’t trust the Tories because, as Johnson’s top adviser admits, they don’t care about our NHS.”
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said Mr Johnson was visiting public services to see for himself the state of Britain’s hospitals and “to hear directly from NHS staff and patients.
“This is exactly why he is so committed to making sure investment reaches front-line services, so that doctors and nurses have the resources they need and patients receive consistently world-leading care.”
“This is why we’ve recently invested an additional £1.8 billion into front-line services and are upgrading 20 hospitals across the country.”
The hospital’s chief executive Alan Gurney said: “We are constantly reviewing staffing levels on our wards to ensure our patients are safe at all times, but occasionally — as in fact happened on this ward last night — an unexpected emergency in one part of the hospital can cause a temporary pressure elsewhere.”
The hospital is currently being inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
A CQC report last year said the trust “still had challenges with staffing” and that the emergency department had “high nursing and consultant vacancy rates.”
In April the Labour Party published figures showing that NHS patients nationwide are at high risk from raw sewage, leaking roofs, pests and ageing fire safety infrastructure thanks to years of Tory funding cuts.
Broken or leaking sewage pipes also caused problems for 60 per cent of the trusts, with at least 678 separate incidents.
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