‘NHS staff are worked to the bone’: Health secretary Steve Barclay challenged by mother during hospital visit | Politics News

A mother has challenged health secretary Steve Barclay during a hospital visit, telling him that NHS staff are being “worked to the bone”.

Sarah Pinnington-Auld said her three-year-old daughter Lucy, who has cystic fibrosis, was pushed off the “absolutely horrific” waiting list at King’s College Hospital in Denmark Hill, London, because of “the obscene number of people who came through and the lack of resources”.

“That’s what is really upsetting actually because we have a daughter with a life-limiting, life-shortening condition,” she told Mr Barclay.

“We have brilliant experts that are being worked to the bone and the level of care… they’re not being able to provide it in the way they want to provide it.

“The staff are amazing, the NHS staff are incredible, and they are particularly even more incredible because they are working under such rough conditions.”

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She cited the pressures facing King’s College Hospital and added that “it’s not fair to blame it on the pandemic anymore is it, because actually we have problems in the NHS before we went into the pandemic”.

She added: “We were short of doctors, we were short of beds going into the pandemic so I think it is really wrong to blame it on the pandemic.”

And on bed shortages, she told the health secretary: “We have people who can’t get into health and social care and are taking up beds.

“So until you as a government prioritise health and social care, we are not going to free up the already limited number of beds.”

The mother-of-two said Mr Barclay responded to her concerns by saying the government was investing more money into the health service

Ms Pinnington-Auld has previously posted on social media about her support for the Labour Party.

Mr Barclay is understood to be writing to the unions to request fresh talks over strike action – but sources say he still won’t discuss increasing their wages.

Both nurses and ambulance workers are set to stage walkouts this week amid ongoing anger over pay and working conditions.