Sarah Wollaston urges government to get a grip on NHS ‘crisis’

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Media captionChair of health select committee tells Today we need to plan for increasing complexity of health

The government must “get a better grip” on the challenges facing the NHS in England, a senior Tory MP has said, as bosses cancelled non-urgent operations.

Officials say the move will be a planned response to severe winter pressures along with not evidence of a health care crisis.

yet Sarah Wollaston, who chairs the health select committee, said people whose operations had been cancelled would certainly describe This particular as a crisis.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has apologised to those affected.

Speaking to Sky News, he said postponing operations was “absolutely not what I want”.

Theresa May said This particular was “disappointing” along with “frustrating” for those affected yet insisted the health service was coping.

Speaking in Wokingham, Berkshire, the Prime Minister thanked NHS staff for their “hard work” along with acknowledged in which there were “extra pressures” in winter.

She said: “The NHS has been better prepared with This particular 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 certainly otherwise have been in NHS beds rather than in social care.”

Dr Wollaston, a former GP, called for an increase in funding to prevent another winter “crisis”.

“We do definitely need a better long term sustainable plan for how we’re going to get the right amount of funding into both health along with social care,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

  • Crowded hospitals ‘put patients at risk’
  • Hospitals to delay non-urgent operations

She said the system was “running at absolutely full stretch across both health along with social care” along with “despite all the planning in which we’ve heard about…. I’m afraid there are serious issues with capacity”.

There had, she argued, been “far too many bed closures” along with “probably not enough money” had been spent in recent times to “keep up with the sheer scale of the increase in demand along with complexity”.

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Media captionJonathan Ashworth: ‘This particular will be a serious crisis’

“We do need to spend more on health in my view along with we need to have a plan for how we’re going to do in which fairly, yet if we just focus on the NHS alone or on social care on its own we won’t get there, we need something in which plans across the whole system.”

Tens of thousands of non-urgent NHS operations along with procedures may be deferred until 31 January.

Officials have estimated This particular could lead to up to 55,000 deferred operations, although cancer operations along with time-critical procedures should go ahead as planned, NHS England said.

Labour’s shadow health spokesman Jonathan Ashworth said: “Tory underfunding along with cuts have left our health service more vulnerable than ever before.

“(Health Secretary) Jeremy Hunt must urgently tell us how many elective operations he expects to be cancelled along with how many more people will be waiting longer in pain along with anguish because their scheduled operation has had to be cancelled.”

Lib Dem health spokesman – along with former health minister – Norman Lamb said the situation was “wholly predictable” along with the government knew This particular was not putting “sufficient resources” into the NHS.

He told the BBC News channel: “My great frustration will be in which the government, knowing in which This particular was going to happen, have done nothing to confront the problem.

“This particular leaves very many people working from the system along with indeed patients, feeling utterly infuriated in which the government just watches by as This particular deterioration takes place before our eyes.”

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