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Jeremy Corbyn attacked Theresa May strongly today at PMQ’s over the £2.45bn NHS trust deficit that the Tories have created since they have been in government.
He also grilled her on the impact that the NHS spending cuts are having on people, particularly those that suffer from mental health problems.
May, as usual, avoided actually giving answers to the questions, especially regarding the NHS deficit.
This may well be because her own local NHS trust has run up a deficit of £4.65million.
And Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s local NHS trust has run up a £1million deficit.
In fact, almost every NHS hospital in the country is now in deficit.
This is just one of the reasons that May deflected all of Corbyn’s questions about the NHS’ cash crisis.
NHS trusts are in a financial crisis. According to NHS providers it seems to be the worst financial crisis in NHS history with 80% of acute hospitals now in deficit. There was a time in 2010 when the NHS was in surplus…what’s happened?
May shifted the financial crisis of the NHS away from the Tories and onto the NHS itself, blaming The NHS’s Chief Executive Simon Stevens for the under funding. She added that the Tories would be adding another £10bn to the NHS budget.
Corbyn continued to press for answers:
In 6 years the NHS has gone from surplus to the worst crisis in its history. £3b was wasted on a top down re-organisation that nobody wanted, and yesterday at the select committee Simon Stevens made it very clear he doesn’t believe that NHS England has enough money to get through the crisis it’s facing.”
Corbyn went on to illustrate how the Tories have created a complete mess of the NHS through spending cuts.
The problem is local government funding has been cut. 400,000 fewer people are receiving publicly funded social care as a result of that. The NHS is having difficulty coping with the crisis they’re in…the issue is the funding crisis in the NHS, and in local government. The published figures by The NHS trusts show that the total deficit is £2.45 Billion…the government disguises the extent of the crisis through temporary bailouts.
He then posed a vital question that many people are concerned about at the moment
Can the Prime Minister deal with this issue now, by quite simply saying there will be no downgrades, and no closures of A&E departments in the statement coming out next month?
May again completely avoided this question, and instead focused on extra spending in the NHS. This obviously means that the Tories are planning on closing A&E departments, even though these services are already stretched to breaking point.
Corbyn finished by saying
It cost £3b for a re-organisation that nobody wanted at all….All this government has produced is parity of failure, failing elderly people that need social care, failing the 4 million on the NHS waiting lists, failing 5 times as many people waiting more than 4 hours at A&E departments, and another winter crisis is looming…this funding crisis, and the local government funding crisis, is leaving the NHS on it’s knees.
May responded by again deflecting from the crisis, and the deficit that the Tories have built up saying:
What has happened in the NHS in the last 6 years? More patients being treated, more calls to the ambulance service, more operations, more doctors, more nurses, that’s what’s been happening in the NHS…..at every election the Labour Party claims that the Conservatives will privatise the NHS and in every election, and in government, we have protected the NHS.
Once again the questions remain completely unanswered by May.
Theresa May’s central, and only, defense seems to be that spending has gone up on the NHS under the Tories….
However, just because it has gone up, that doesn’t mean that the money is going to the right places. A large portion of NHS funds are now falling into the hands of private health care companies due to the Health and Social Care Act that was introduced by the Tories.
It cannot be seriously claimed by the Tories that they have protected the NHS against privatisation.
The Tories clearly do not know how to handle spending on the NHS if even their own leader, and our Prime Minister, isn’t able to explain the reduction in vital services, increased spending, and massive deficits in the NHS.
As Corbyn has shown today the Tories cannot be trusted to run the NHS – they can only be trusted to run it into the ground….
You can watch today’s Prime Minsters Questions here: