Health Secretary Steve Barclay gets confronted again


‘The damage you are doing to families is terrible’: Angry mother of ill girl, 3, confronts Health Secretary Steve Barclay and says she’s ‘scared’ her daughter may die young because of Government’s NHS strategy

  • Health Secretary met with Sarah Pinnington-Auld at King’s College Hospital 
  • Her daughter Lucy suffers with the genetic condition cystic fibrosis 
  • READ MORE: Nursing union would compromise on 19% pay rise demand
  • Do you know Sarah Pinnington-Auld? Email joe.davies@mailonline.co.uk

Steve Barclay was today confronted by an angry mother who said she is ‘scared’ No10’s handling of the NHS could see her daughter die young.

The Health Secretary met with Sarah Pinnington-Auld at King’s College Hospital in London today, a day before nurses go on strike again across the country.

Ms Pinnington-Auld seized the opportunity to tell him she worries about treatment for her three-year-old daughter Lucy, who suffers with cystic fibrosis.

She told him the ‘damage you are doing to families like myself is terrible’. 

Steve Barclay met with Sarah Pinnington-Auld (pictured) at King's College Hospital in London today, a day before nurses go on strike again across the country

Steve Barclay met with Sarah Pinnington-Auld (pictured) at King’s College Hospital in London today, a day before nurses go on strike again across the country

Ms Pinnington-Auld seized the opportunity to tell him she worries about treatment for her three-year-old daughter Lucy, who suffers with cystic fibrosis

Ms Pinnington-Auld seized the opportunity to tell him she worries about treatment for her three-year-old daughter Lucy, who suffers with cystic fibrosis

It was the second time Mr Barclay has been publicly accosted while on a hospital visit, after he was accused of doing ‘bugger all’ by a furious woman in August.

Ms Pinnington-Auld said: ‘Her care here has been absolutely amazing. The doctors, the nurses, everyone on the ward, they’re brilliant.

‘Considering what they’re under, considering the shortages, considering the lack of resources.

‘I think for me, that’s what’s really upsetting, actually, because we have a daughter with a life limiting, a life shortening condition. 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’re not being able to provide it in the way they want to provide it, because the resources are not there.’

She added: ‘Like I said on Monday, we were due to be in and the number of people coming through the door is too many and it’s not fair to blame on the pandemic anymore, is it?

‘Because actually, we had problems in the NHS before we went into the pandemic. We were short of doctors, we were short of beds going into the pandemic.

‘And actually, the damage that you’re doing to families like myself is terrible because it was agony for us as a family waiting for that call and preparing our children for their sister and her hospital visits for it to be canceled.

‘I know you’re looking at all numbers, but actually, people waiting for care.

‘We have people that 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’re not going to free up the already limited number of beds.’

Mr Barclay was visiting the hospital amid ever-growing pressure to meet nurses and settle a pay dispute, as strikes continue to threaten the health service.

Thousands of medics will walk out of hospitals for the second time tomorrow in the biggest ever industrial action to rock the NHS, sparked by the ongoing dispute over pay.

Paramedics, ambulance drivers and 999 call handlers will man their own picket lines on Wednesday, creating the biggest emergency service strike since the 1980s.

Union bosses today said No10 has been ‘completely intransigent’ on discussing pay and a ‘firm commitment’ on wages is needed to prevent the walk-outs.

Elderly patients who are medically fit for discharge could be trapped in hospitals over Christmas because of the strikes, senior NHS staff fear.

But the worst could come from ambulance strikes, which could see elderly people who fall at home and women in late stages of pregnancy denied emergency transport to hospitals.

Downing Street rejected offering NHS workers a one-off lump sum payment to avert the strikes, one of the measures supposedly put forward by Health Secretary Steve Barclay last week.

Nurses suggested they would be open to discussing the offer but further talks would be needed by this Thursday or more action will be scheduled in January.

Walk-outs in the New Year could prove even more disruptive to patients and last for longer.

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