Jeremy Hunt has been blasted after tweeting a picture of “clever” use of staffing spreadsheets at a hospital - which reveals huge gaps.
The health secretary was branded “dim” by one Twitter user for posting the chart, put together by Ipswich Hospital, which features large numbers of ‘red cells’ indicating shortages of workers.
He described the system as a “really clever use of technology to ensure staffing levels are maintained throughout the day”.
But Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth was quick to pick up on the problem, tweeting: ”Really clever use of twitter to show how understaffed our NHS really is...#RedCells.”
Others also expressed their disbelief at Hunt’s actions, claiming they revealed his lack of understanding of pressure on the NHS.
Thousands of routine operations were cancelled earlier this month due to staff shortages and increased demand on the health service during the winter months.
A National Audit Office report released on Friday revealed says £1.8 billion, handed to the health service in 2016 to give it breathing space to set itself up to survive on significantly less funding in future years, has been spent almost entirely on dealing with existing problems with increased demand and budget constraints.
Ashworth said: “We’re now into the eighth year of Tory under-funding of our NHS - the biggest financial squeeze in its history and as the independent NAO reveals today cash isn’t spent on service inprovment but hospital deficits.
“We have a year-round crisis. We will give the NHS the long-term funding needed.”