Steve Barclay confronted by concerned mum on visit to hospital

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Sarah Pinnington-Auld told the Health Secretary that nurses and others were “being worked to the bone” when he met her and her poorly daughter Lucy, during a hospital visit.

As they talked beside Lucy’s bed at King’s College University Hospital, London, Sarah, 43, told Mr Barclay staff were “absolutely amazing” but pressures on the NHS had hit her daughter’s care.

She described the fact a vital lung check for Lucy had been delayed for five days due to lack of beds as “agony”.

Mother-of-two Sarah told Mr Barclay: “The damage that you’re doing to families like myself is terrible.

“We have a daughter with a life-limiting, life-shortening condition and we have some brilliant experts and they’re being worked to the bone.

“Actually, the level of care they provide is amazing, but they are not being able to provide it in the way they want to because the resourcing is not there.”

She added: “I’m so scared about my daughter’s future, thinking about what you guys might do to the NHS and what that means in exact terms for the length of Lucy’s life.”

Sarah said Mr Barclay told her the Government was investing more money in the health service.

After the meeting, she said: “We just want to hug every member of staff. They are working so hard. It’s so tough for them.”

Sarah said of Lucy’s postponed bronchoscopy: “We were all packed up and ready to go to the hospital when we got a last-minute phone call to say no beds were available.”

Staff managed to get Lucy into hospital four days later, but her procedure was “bumped off the list” due to the number of emergencies that day, Sarah said.

They then had to wait another day for the procedure.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said of Sarah’s concerns: “The backlogs caused by Covid are unacceptable.

“It is why we have invested such a huge amount of money to start bringing them down, with early signs of success by eliminating two-year waits. We’re now pushing on, focusing on 18-month waits.

“Whilst this happens, we know the public will be concerned. But they should be reassured that the Government will continue to give the NHS the funding it needs to deal with these Covid backlogs and put the NHS back on track.”

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