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Sarah Wollaston urges government to get a grip on NHS 'crisis'

Sarah Wollaston urges government to get a grip on NHS 'crisis'
From BBC - January 3, 2018

The government must "get a better grip" on the challenges facing the NHS in England, a senior Tory MP has said, as bosses cancelled non-urgent operations.

Officials say the move is a planned response to severe winter pressures and not evidence of a health care crisis.

But Sarah Wollaston, who chairs the health select committee, said people whose operations had been cancelled would describe it as a crisis.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has apologised to those affected.

Speaking to Sky News, he said postponing operations was "absolutely not what I want".

Theresa May said it was "disappointing" and "frustrating" for those affected but insisted the health service was coping.

Speaking in Wokingham, Berkshire, the Prime Minister thanked NHS staff for their "hard work" and acknowledged that there were "extra pressures" in winter.

She said: "The NHS has been better prepared for this winter than ever before.

"We have put extra funding in. There are more beds available across the system, we have reduced the number of delayed discharges of elderly people who would otherwise have been in NHS beds rather than in social care."

Dr Wollaston, a former GP, called for an increase in funding to prevent another winter "crisis".

"We do definitely need a better long term sustainable plan for how we are going to get the right amount of funding into both health and social care," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

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