Theresa May urged to lay out emergency plan as NHS plunged into 'humanitarian crisis'

Theresa May and Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt are being urged to appear before parliament to lay out emergency plans to save a severely overstretched NHS.

Calls for action come after the British Red Cross revealed it was providing extra assistance to hospitals which it described as being in the throes of a “humanitarian crisis.”

IB Times quoted Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, as saying: “The British Red Cross is on the front line, responding to the humanitarian crisis in our hospital and ambulance services across the country.

“We have been called in to support the NHS and help get people home from hospital and free up much-needed beds.”

A statement from Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn called it a “national scandal,” saying “Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt have to take both responsibility and urgent action to tackle it.”

He said he was “demanding” the prime minister appears before the House of Commons on Monday when MPs return from their Christmas break in order to lay out plans to save a struggling NHS.

“The fact is, this government have repeatedly failed to put the necessary resources into our health service, while they have cut social care and wasted billions on a top-down reorganisation to accelerate privatisation.”

Business Insider reported in November that the NHS is facing its biggest cash crisis in its 68-year history.

Nhs protestDan Kitwood/Getty ImagesJunior Doctors carry a placard on Westminster Bridge as they demonstrate outside St Thomas’s Hospital on February 10, 2016, in London, England.

Government figures showed the institution’s budget deficit — the shortfall between its funding and what it spends — more than tripled to £1.85 billion in 2016.

Bosses have pledged to cut spending in an effort to close the deficit, but The Guardian says the detrimental effect on healthcare would be inevitable and could result in thousands of hospital beds being lost across the country.

The number of cancelled routine operations has also hit a record high, while the number of ambulances diverted away from under-pressure hospitals last week doubled since the same period 2016.

“We’ve seen people sent home without clothes; some suffer falls and are not found for days,” said the Red Cross’ Adamson, “while others are not washed because there is no carer there to help them.”

The president of The Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Mark Holland, told BBC Breakfast that describing the situation as a humanitarian crisis is “not a million miles from the truth,” calling it a “winter from hell.”

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