Health and Science

Red Cross claim of ‘humanitarian crisis’ in UK health service rejected by prime minister

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has dismissed a Red Cross claim that her country's National Health Service (NHS) is in the grip of a humanitarian crisis.

The prime minister admitted to Sky news on Sunday that there were "huge pressures" on the health service this winter but her government had provided the funding requested.

Rejecting a call for fresh emergency cash, Theresa May said the Red Cross was not painting an accurate picture.

"I don't accept the description the Red Cross has made of this," she said.

The Red Cross has been drafted to help some hospitals with patient transport and provide care for patients who have returned home.

British Red Cross Chief Executive Mike Adamson said in a statement Friday that the British government needed to allocate funds for health and social care.

"The British Red Cross is on the front line, responding to the humanitarian crisis in our hospital and ambulance services across the country," he said.

Patient deaths

Last week two patients died while waiting on trolleys in corridors of the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

One woman reportedly died of a heart attack after suffering a 35-hour wait on a trolley, while a man suffered an aneurysm waiting on a trolley at the same hospital.

Adamson said it is clear patients are not being properly cared for.

"We've seen people sent home without clothes, some suffer falls and are not found for days, while others are not washed because there is no carer there to help them.

"If people don't receive the care they need and deserve, they will simply end up returning to A&E, and the cycle begins again," Adamson said.

The leading opposition politician in the U.K., Jeremy Corbyn, has called the situation a national scandal.

"The health service is at breaking point. But this crisis is not due to an outbreak of disease.

"It is a crisis made in Downing Street by this government - a crisis we warned them about," he said Sunday.

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