Mum confronts Health Secretary on ‘terrible’ Tory damage at daughter’s bedside
Mum confronts Health Secretary on ‘terrible’ Tory damage at daughter’s bedside

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The Health Secretary has been confronted by an angry mother who told him the damage the Tories have inflicted on families is ‘terrible’.

Sarah Pinnington-Auld challenged Steve Barclay on his photo op tour of King’s College University Hospital in Denmark Hill, south London, today.

At her daughter’s bedside, the mum told him she is ‘scared’ the Conservative’s handling of the NHS could see her daughter die young from cystic fibrosis.

Ms Pinnington-Auld said the staff are ‘absolutely amazing’ but pressures on the hospital are affecting her daughter’s care.

‘The doctors, the nurses, everyone on the ward is just brilliant considering what they’re under, considering the shortage of staff, considering the lack of resources,’ she said.

‘And I think for me that’s what’s really upsetting actually because we have a daughter with a life-limiting, life-shortening condition and we have some brilliant experts and they’re being worked to the bone and actually the level of care they provide is amazing but they not being able to provide it in the way they want to provide it because the resourcing is not there.’

Speaking afterwards, the mum said: ‘They’re so hard working and incredible and are doing an absolutely brilliant job under such intense pressures like as underfunding and understaffing.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay meets Sarah Pinnington-Auld and her 3 year old daughter, Lucy who is suffering from cystic fibrosis during a visit to King's College University Hospital in London. Picture date: Monday December 19, 2022. PA Photo. Mr Barclay has said his top priority is keeping patients safe as the NHS braces for major disruption in the run up to Christmas, with nurses and ambulance crews set to walk out on consecutive days this week. See PA story INDUSTRY Strikes. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Health Secretary Steve Barclay was challenged by Sarah Pinnington-Auld whose three-year-old daughter Lucy has cystic fibrosis (Picture: PA)

‘We just want to hug every member of staff. They are working so hard. It’s so tough for them.’

Her daughter’s recent bronchoscopy – a procedure to check the lungs – was pushed back by five days due to a lack of beds.

‘We were all packed up and ready to go to the hospital when we got a phone call last minute to say no beds were available,’ she said.

Staff managed to get Lucy into the hospital four days later but her procedure was ‘bumped off the list’ due to emergencies coming through the door that day.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay during a visit to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, as nurses at other hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland take industrial action over pay. Picture date: Thursday December 15, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story INDUSTRY Strikes. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Steve Barclay has visited several London hospitals for photo ops since nurses went on strike (Picture: PA)

‘The problem is the lack of beds,’ she said. ‘We’re firefighting at the moment, the staff are firefighting.

‘We are dealing with other walk-ins through the door and these obviously have to be prioritised so other care that isn’t acute are getting moved down the list.’

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

The Department for Health and Social Care have been contacted for comment.

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