WATCH: Mum launches furious tirade at Steve Barclay as Health Secretary doubles down on opposition to nurse pay rise
Steve Barclay met with Sarah Pinnington-Auld and her 3 year old daughter, who is suffering from cystic fibrosis
A mother whose daughter was refused a bed in a hospital despite suffering from a life-limiting condition, has told Steve Barclay that him and the Government “need to prioritise health and social care”.
The Health Secretary met with Sarah Pinnington-Auld and her 3 year old daughter, Lucy who is suffering from cystic fibrosis during a visit to King's College University Hospital in London this morning.
Ms Pinnington-Auld used the opportunity to share her fury at the Government.
“Her care here has been absolutely amazing. The doctors, the nurses, everyone on the ward, they're brilliant.
"Considering what they're under, considering the shortages, considering the lack of resources.
“I think for me, that's what's really upsetting, actually, because we have a daughter with a life limiting, a life shortening condition. We have some brilliant experts, and they’re being worked to the bone and actually, the level of care they provide is amazing.
“But they're not being able to provide it in the way they want to provide it, because the resources are not there. Like I said on Monday, we were due to be in and the number of people coming through the door is too many and it's not fair to blame on the pandemic anymore, is it?
“Because actually, we had problems in the NHS before we went into the pandemic. We were short of doctors, we were short of beds going into the pandemic.
“So I think it's really wrong to blame it on the pandemic. And actually, the damage that you're doing to families like myself is terrible because it was agony for us as a family waiting for that call and preparing our children for their sister and her hospital visits for it to be canceled.
“I know you're looking at all numbers, but actually, people waiting for care.
“We have people that can't get into health and social care and are taking up beds. So until you, as a government prioritise health and social care, we're not going to free up the already limited number of beds.
“And I want to reiterate the staff are absolutely incredible. We're so lucky as a nation to have this NHS, you know, it was in our 2012 Olympic opening games. That's how proud we are.
“I feel like we criticise it all the time and we are moving towards a privatised system. Very like America, where the disparity in health service between the rich and poor is far.”
Barclay used the visit to again state his opposition to a 19% pay rise for nurses, saying it was not “reasonable”, while defending the independent pay review process.
He said: “It’s not just pay, when I’m talking to nurses, as I am today, that they raise with me.
“They also talk about the estate and our new hospital building programme being really important to them, they talk about frustrations, often, with technology and how we need to invest more in that, they talk sometimes about some of the abuse that they receive and issues of safety and how we can work together to improve safety for staff.
“So there’s range of issues that are raised by nurses with me. Pay is a factor and that’s why we have an independent process to look at that, but there’s a range of other things that also matter to staff and I’m keen to work with trade unions to address those concerns as well.”
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