‘A&E is absolute chaos – I spent 15 hours on a trolley’ but Health Secretary for England not accused of anything

From BBC Health but, note, not BBC England:

Anne Whitfield-Ray said that despite her experience she cannot fault NHS staff: “They are doing the best they can.”

Lying on a trolley in a hospital corridor in pain from a broken hip, Anne Whitfield-Ray could not believe she was in the care of the NHS.

“It was absolute chaos – like something out of a third world country,” said the 77-year-old from Worcestershire.

“The staff were rushed off their feet, paint was peeling off the walls and patients were being squeezed in everywhere they could – in makeshift bays, in corridors and side rooms. It was horrific.”

Anne spent 15 hours in that position until a bed could be found for her.


Wow! Steve Barclay will be getting it down below, so to speak!

Eh, nope, he’s not mentioned.

Dr Adrian Boyle, of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and Dr Vin Diwakar of NHS England don’t mention Steve either. Sir Keir Starmer doesn’t appear either. How does Steve do it?

Humza needs to ask him how you stop media obsessing on you. Do they? Well, in Scotland’s A&E waiting times worst on record on 20 September, only three lines in:

Scottish Tory health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane said the figures showed the “crisis in A&E is not merely continuing, but deepening”.

The Scottish government target is that 95% of patients attending A&E are seen and subsequently admitted or discharged within four hours.


The Scottish Health Secretary has to defend the situation four times, even though health boards have day-to-day responsibility, like trusts in England.

And to finish off, this:

Dr Gulhane, Scottish Tory health spokesman, said the figures were extremely alarming for patients and staff because excess delays lead to avoidable deaths.

“It’s especially concerning that these worst-ever stats come well ahead of the traditional winter peak demand in A&E,” he said.

“The health secretary can’t ignore these dire stats. He must come up with an alternative strategy to tackle this crisis in Scotland’s NHS, as his flimsy Covid Recovery Plan clearly isn’t working.”

Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said the “ridiculous” lengths of waits for emergency care would cost lives.

“If we are to avoid a full-blown humanitarian crisis this winter then the government must act now,” she said.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said emergency care was “overwhelmed” and staff were at their “wits’ end”, adding that the Scottish government’s NHS recovery plan had “failed”.

Naked and cynical politicising of health issues to undermine the SNP Government and to serve the opposition parties, utterly absent from BBC England, Wales or N Ireland coverage – frankly disgusting.


8 thoughts on “‘A&E is absolute chaos – I spent 15 hours on a trolley’ but Health Secretary for England not accused of anything

  1. ”… the ( Scottish ) Government must act now ”, says Jackie Baillie .
    ” His Covid Recovery Plan isn’t working ”, says Sandy Gulhane .

    These humanitarian politicians are not trying to make a political drama out of the crisis in the Health Service . That is why they have put forward numerous solutions to the 12 year deliberate destruction of the NHS under Westminster Tory rule .
    Solutions such as …
    Sack the Scottish Health Secretary .
    Or , sack Humza Yousaf .
    Not forgetting their panacea for all Health Care ills , sacking the Scottish Health Secretary , Humza Yousaf .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And before that: sack Jeanne Freeman and before that: sack Shona Robison. A pattern emerges that clearly shows that opposition politicians in Scotland are one trick donkeys with absolutely zero to contribute to any debate.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Westminster cut NHS funding. The unionists are killing £millions of people. The SNP Gov are saving them. SNHS are saving lives every day. Every minute. The SNP Gov have to mitigate the Westminster cuts. Westmibster unionist bad policies and poor decisions, The UK the most unequal place in the world. A corrupt Westmibster unionist Gov. Lie after, lie after lie. Liars always get found out. They will be gone.

    Vote SNP/SNP at every election. To vote out the opposition. Thenit will happen. Independistas should turnout to vote at every election. SNP/SNP. Increase the turnout. To vote the opposition out. To achieve self governance and Independence. Now is the time for maximum support. Use the vote or lose it, A simple solution go to the Ballot Box and vote YES. Take someone to vote as well. Independence will be won. Essential services will get better and better. It is no good complaining if people do not vote. The power isin the peopke’s Hand. Use it.


  3. The UK Health Secretary is not responsible for the NHS in England.
    That was transferred to the user groups in the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
    He is only responsible to Parliament now, not the public.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not the point.
      Even if the Scottish Health Secretary’s position was defined the same way UK Health Secretary.
      The liars and DD’s (democracy deniers) would still hound them and call repeatedly for their removal.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. On 10 November 2022 stewartb wrote an article with the headline “Worst waiting times on record…..in NHS England! Be alert – this is the BBC reporting!”

    I was alert stewartb!

    This evening BBC News at Six gave the 4 hour target statistic for A&E waiting times. The BBC show England as the best performing with 68.9%, followed by Scotland on 67.6%, Wales on 66.6%, and Northern Ireland last with 51.4%.

    So with regard to England’s 68.9% figure, here is what the BBC did not tell us about ‘categories’.


    “Now we know from NHS England that this 69% figure is the worst on record (see above). But note the shift in the nature of the units being referred to in the BBC article – from ‘major A&E units’ to ‘A&E and minor injury units’. This matters because NHS England reports on three quite different categories of facility, Types 1, 2 and 3. It is the major or Type 1 units that most people would recognise as an A&E department: it is only the performance of the ‘main’ A&E departments in NHS Scotland – the equivalent of England’s Type 1s – that the BBC reports. From the October statistics for NHS England, we learn that just ‘54.8% of patients were seen within 4 hours in type 1 A&E departments .… This is the lowest reported performance since the collection began.’”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So that day has come round again, the one when NHS England publishes statistics on A&E waiting times for the previous month. It’s the time when we can test the consistency or otherwise of the BBC’s editorial policies and the choices editors make across the nations of the UK, as exemplified by the content of its News website which is amenable to direct comparison. And yes it does get ‘tedious’ because the BBC is nothing if not consistent in its differential practices month after month after month!

    We know well that BBC Scotland’s coverage of the weekly releases of A&E waiting times in Scotland is highly politicised – news articles appear on the website’s politics as well as its main sections for Scotland. We know that much space is given over to quotes from all opposition parties in Holyrood – given proactively to or requested by the BBC we can’t tell. And there has been a clear message amplified by BBC Scotland – it’s all the Scottish Government’s fault and the Cabinet Secretary for Health should resign immediately.

    The coverage of A&E performance in Scotland focuses on waiting times for the MAIN A&E departments (equivalent to Type 1 departments in England) and not for ALL A&E departments. Recently there has been a trend towards highlighting individual health boards or individual hospitals where performance against the 4 hour standard is substantially lower than the national average. A more impactful, negative message?

    For NHS England, the BBC does things very differently. I’ll use the statistics published today (8 December) for the month of November to illustrate.

    Throughout Radio 4 news bulletins today and on the BBC News website, we’ve been told some variant of ‘one in three’ patients are waiting more than four hours in A&E’. But this is what the official figures record (with my emphasis):

    • ‘68.9% of patients were seen within 4 hours in ALL A&E departments this month compared to 69.3% in October 2022, 74.1% in November 2021, and 81.4% in November 2019. THIS IS THE LOWEST REPORTED PERFORMANCE SINCE the collection began. The 95% standard was last met in July 2015.’

    •’ 54.5% of patients were seen within 4 hours in TYPE 1 A&E departments compared to 54.8% in October 2022, 61.9% in November 2021 and 71.3% in November 2019. THIS IS THE LOWEST REPORTED PERFORMANCE SINCE THE COLLECTION BEGAN.

    Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/12/Statistical-commentary-November-2022-cftre1-1.pdf.

    The BBC News website had an article today with this headline: ”A&E is absolute chaos – I spent 15 hours on a trolley’. OK a damning headline but the article has nothing on the 54.5% performance statistic: it sticks with ‘1 in 3’. By contrast, the focus in a press statement issued by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine on these latest statistics is clear: it ONLY refers to the 54.5% figure for the main (Type 1) departments. Why does the BBC opt to use a ‘1 in 3’ statistic: why focus on ALL rather than the MAIN A&E departments instead? Less ‘negative’? (Still, at least the frequency of BBC ‘exposures’ of the state on NHS England is increasing. Now to bad to be ignored?)

    There are a few other things about the BBC News website’s article referred to above. It doesn’t appear on the main ‘UK’ news page; it doesn’t appear on the main ‘England’ page; it doesn’t appear on the main ‘Politics’ page. It appears ONLY on the ‘Health’ page – and even here it has been quickly relegated from a prominent position. In the article there is ZERO politicisation: there is NO MENTION of ‘worst on record’. (Recall that BBC Scotland has in the past had a headline with ‘second worst on record’!)

    Even a later article on the BBC News website entitled ‘Nurses bitten and screens smashed – life in A&E’. This has a reference to: ‘A network of regional “war rooms” has also been created’. This only appears on the ‘Health’ page and again with ZERO politicisation.

    The BBC News website presently has an article on a regional (Humberside) section with this headline: ‘Hull hospitals worst in England for A&E waits, NHS figures show’.

    We’re told that: ‘ In November, 58.2% of patients at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust sites waited over four hours to be admitted or discharged.’ So 41.8% were treated within the 4 hour standard.

    But the official NHS England performance statistics reveal that in November there were actually 10 hospital trusts with an even worse performance against the 4 hour standard. These ranged from 29.8% (Barking, Havering And Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust) to 41.1% (The Shrewsbury And Telford Hospital NHS Trust). Can’t trust the BBC even for accuracy?

    Finally, to cement the evidence on contrasting editorial choices, the following headline also appears on the BBC News website today: ”NHS Wales: Hospital staff ‘in tears’ over A&E pressures. In contrast to the BBC’s coverage of NHS England’s A&E, the Welsh article appears on the main Wales page plus the Wales politics page. However, despite reporting on lengthy ambulance and A&E waits in Wales, BBC Wales’ editors choose to have ZERO politicisation!

    Liked by 2 people

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