POLITICS

PMQs: Theresa May Derided As She Talks Of Just A 'Small Number' Of 'Unacceptable' NHS Incidents

Very much a 'Crisis? What crisis?' performance from the PM

11/01/2017 13:10 GMT | Updated 11/01/2017 13:55 GMT

  

Jeremy Corbyn today accused Theresa May of being in “denial” over the NHS crisis after the Tory leader played down problems in the health service.

In a Prime Minister Questions session dominated by the health service, the Labour leader called for funds set aside for business tax cuts to instead be ploughed into the NHS and adult social care.

Despite acknowledging there are “pressures” on the health service, the Prime Minister said the claim by the Red Cross earlier this week that the NHS was facing an “humanitarian crisis” was “irresponsible and overblown.”

Labour MPs heckled May with cries of “shameful” after she said there were only a “small” number of unacceptable incidents in hospitals.

Speaking from the Despatch Box this afternoon, Corbyn said: “Earlier this week the Prime Minister said she wanted to create a ‘shared society’ – well, we’ve certainly got that. More people sharing hospital corridors on trollies; more people sharing waiting areas and A&E departments; more people sharing in anxiety created by this government.

 “Our NHS is in crisis but the Prime Minister is in denial.”

Corbyn also read out an email from a woman whose 22-month old nephew had been treated on “two plastic chairs pushed together with a blanket” due to a lack of hospital beds.

May responded: “I accept there have been a small number of incidents where unacceptable practices have taken place. We don’t want those things to happen.”

Her comments provoked a furious reaction from the Labour benches, leading the Commons Speaker to warn Paula Sherriff that her conduct warranted an anti-social behaviour order. 

Speaking afterwards, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokeswoman said: “We are not at all complacent.”

She added that the PM’s remarks were in the context of “record numbers of people visiting A&E.”