TORY Health secretary Jeremy Hunt must resign, trade union GMB demanded yesterday, while warning that the ‘NHS is tailspinning into catastrophe.’
‘The number of hospitals turning sick people away has dramatically increased,’ GMB said, warning: ‘This is putting lives at risk.’ Kevin Brandstatter, GMB National Officer for the NHS, said: ‘Everyone apart from the Health Secretary seemed to see this crisis coming a mile off – it repeats the pattern of previous years.
‘In winter it is cold, people get flu, have accidents, illnesses and require treatment. That is well known. However because the government have starved the NHS of resources, a foreseen event, which should have been planned for, has become a crisis. Asking already stressed and overworked staff to undertake more shifts, as some have done, will lead to more staff having to report sick though exhaustion and stress.
‘Alternatives such as “Walk In” Centres are very busy – there are growing queues for advice and treatment. Some who attend are found to be so ill, they need hospital care. While Walk In Centres relieve the pressure on A&E Departments, they also need additional staff.
‘GMB members working for ambulance trusts continuously complain of lengthening times to hand patients over to A&E departments, leading to longer response times for 999 calls. Frustration seems to be the common thread throughout the NHS. Theresa May apologised for the mess in the NHS, but unless she orders the Chancellor to devote more money to our health service that apology will have a very hollow ring for the people of Britain. Meanwhile her Health Secretary is clearly not up to the job, and must step down before the NHS crisis tailspins into catastrophe.’
Secretary of the All Trades Unions Alliance (ATUA) Dave Wiltshire said: ‘The masses of working people have gone well beyond demanding that Hunt goes and that May properly finances the NHS. It is the government as a whole which is responsible for the crisis in the NHS and it is the government as a whole which must go.
‘The entire trade union movement must be organised in a general strike to bring this country to a halt to bring this government down and bring in a workers government. This is the only way to defend the NHS.’