'Say Them Out Loud': Naga Munchetty Roasts Tory Minister Over NHS Performance Boast

"You say there are some parts of the country that are doing well. Where?"

Naga Munchetty clashed with health secretary Victoria Atkins after the minister insisted some NHS trusts are performing well.

The BBC Breakfast presenter repeatedly challenged the senior Tory to name the trusts which were not failing.

The on-air spat came as the government prepares to publish the latest NHS waiting list figures.

Rishi Sunak promised to bring the lists down shortly after he became prime minister, but they have gone up and now stand at more than 7 million procedures.

Munchetty told Atkins: “The most recent figures available show that the overall number of people waiting for non-emergency treatment is down for the fifth month in a row.

“But still, the number of people waiting compared to this time last year is up 360,000, and compared to when the prime minister came into office, is up 620,000.

“So it’s all very well saying that these waiting times are coming down - they’re still too high. And you say there are some parts of the country that are doing well. Where?”

As Atkins struggled to answer, Munchetty interrupted to ask: “Which ones? Could you name them?”

But the minister said: “I don’t think it’s fair actually, for trusts to be ... you know, I’ve tried always to be even-handed in how I deal with trusts.”

Munchetty then hit back: “Victoria Atkins, if you are going to flag ones that are doing well, great. You say there are ones doing well. Say them out loud.

“We’ve had comments from all over the country, and I will keep telling you what our audience is saying. But you tell me where these areas are. You tell our audience where these great trusts are.”

Atkins replied: “All I’m trying to do is put into context that in an enormous system that treats 1.3 million people a day, that saw in February 74,000 people going into A&E every single day ... we know that there are some people who will have the sorts of experience that are simply unacceptable, but there are also people who have had good experiences.”


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