Simon Stevens, NHS England Chief has told MPs that Theresa May’s claims the health service is getting more funding than it asked for were “stretching it” and that there were “clearly substantial funding pressures.”
Prime Minister Theresa May said that claims by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the Red Cross that there was a “humanitarian crisis” in the NHS were “Irresponsible”.
Mr Corbyn responded that May was in “Denial.”
Over recent days there has been warning after warning about pressures on the NHS in England.
The Royal College of Nursing said its members were reporting the worst conditions in its history.
While fifty doctors in a letter have warned May that lives are being put at risk because of the pressures put on the NHS. Charities said long-term solutions were needed.
Mr Stevens speaking to a Public Accounts Committee pointed out a few home truths.
Minsters claim that they are giving NHS England 10bn over 5 years, 2bn more than he requested. He said the 10bn was to cover six and not five years, saying “I don’t think that’s the same as saying we are getting more than we asked for over five years.
“In the here and now, there are very real pressures. Over the next three years funding is going to be highly constrained and in 2018-19, as I’ve previously said in October, real-terms NHS spending per person in England is going to go down, 10 years after Lehman Brothers and austerity began.
“We all understand why that is, but let’s not pretend that that’s not placing huge pressure on the service.”
During Prime Minister’s questions, Jeremy Corbyn said the Prime Minister was in some degree of denial and not listening to professionals. He pointed out her shared vision, which she alluded to in her speech, was resulting in “more people sharing hospital corridors on trolleys.”
Documents leaked to the BBC show patients are facing long waits in A&E, while chairman of the British Medical Association, Mark Porter, accused the government of “wilfully ignoring the scale of the crisis in our NHS. Trying to play down the pressure that services are under shows the prime minister is out of touch with patients and front-line staff who are working flat out under impossible circumstances.”