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Matt Hancock insisted the Labour Party’s Shadow Health Secretary should be “thankful” for the NHS instead of criticising their conduct during the coronavirus pandemic. The heated response came after Mr Ashworth demanded clarification on the investment the Government is planning to make to ensure enough bed and resources are available to the NHS during the winter. The Health Secretary said: “The good news is that we’re managing to continue to drive through the backlog that understandably built up in the first peak.
“So I think the Honourable Gentleman, instead of attacking the NHS, should be backing the NHS.
“And thanking them for the incredible work that the NHS is doing right now and will be doing over this winter.”
Doctors and nurses across the UK have taken the brunt of the second peak of the coronavirus pandemic amidst growing concern of infection spiralling out of control.
Mr Ashworth’s prompted the brutal rebuke after calling on the Health Minister to confirm the next spending review will deliver on previous pledges to bring down the backlog of patients in need of NHS ca
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The Labour frontbencher said: “Testing is crucial, testing for NHS staff is crucial, for dealing with the backlog in NHS care.
“Last week, we learned that 139,000 people are waiting beyond 12 months for treatment.
“We now know 52,000 people are waiting beyond 18 weeks for orthopaedic surgery – this is often hips and knee replacement – 233,000 patients are waiting beyond 18 weeks for eye surgery – many could go blind.
“People are waiting longer for heart valve surgery, many are languishing on trolleys in the overcrowded A&Es.”
Mr Ashworth added: “As well as testing NHS staff, the minister promised us to give the NHS whatever it takes. Can he guarantee that the spending review will deliver the resources and beds and capacity to bring waiting lists down?”
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