Boris Johnson ‘only cares about NHS winter crisis because of election’, say doctors

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Picture of Boris Johnson next to picture of Boris Johnson being shown around a hospital

Boris Johnson’s concern over the NHS winter crisis has been called into question (Picture: PA)

Doctors say the Prime Minister of only addressing an ‘unprecedented’ NHS winter crisis due to fears it will hamper the Tories’ chances in next month’s General Election.

With the first December vote since 1923 looming, Downing Street is taking emergency measures to keep the effects of seasonal pressures in the health service to a minimum.

According to the Observer, Boris Johnson is holding regular meetings with NHS England head Simon Stevens while Downing Street plans to set up its own ‘operations unit’ for the crisis.

Meanwhile Health Secretary Matt Hancock is reportedly getting weekly face-to-face updates from the health service boss.

British Medical Association chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said patients and staff have endured ‘winter after winter of overcrowded emergency departments, long delays and pitifully low staffing levels’ under the Conservative Government’s watch.

Doctors say Boris only cares about winter NHS crisis because of election

Downing Street is allegedly planning on setting up an ‘operations unit’ for the crisis (Picture: PA)

He added: ‘It should not take an election to take stock of just how bad the situation has become.

‘Staff are already coming under extreme pressure, trolley waits are at a worryingly high level, A&E targets are not being met and as such, the BMA predicts that the NHS is hurtling towards an unprecedented crisis this winter.’

However, Number 10 insiders say they do not recognise reports about an ‘operations unit’.

The criticism came as the Prime Minister faced calls to permanently ban fracking after performing a major U-turn to suspend the controversial process over earthquake concerns.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said imposing the moratorium in the run-up to the vote was an ‘election stunt’, after Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said the position could be reversed.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Metropolitan Police training college in Hendon, London, Britain October 31, 2019. Aaron Chown/Pool via REUTERS

Johnson has also been criticised for a U-turn on banning fracking (Picture: Reuters)

In the past, Johnson hailed fracking as a potential ‘answer to the nation’s prayers’ but now concedes he has ‘very considerably anxieties’ about it.

The suspension came after an Oil and Gas Authority report found it is not possible to accurately predict the probability or magnitude of earthquakes linked to fracking.

Yesterday Ms Leadsom said the suspension was a ‘disappointment’ and made it clear it will only be in place ‘until the science changes’.

Corbyn said: ‘It seems to me like an election stunt and I think it’s what’s called euphemistically a bit of a greenwash.’

But, despite the flack, several polls suggested the Tories were riding high in the public’s opinion with a significant lead over the opposition.

A YouGov survey for the Sunday Times suggested Labour had gained six points since MPs voted for an early election, but that the party was still 12 points behind the Tories on 39 per cent.

And a ComRes poll for the Sunday Express put the Tories on 36 per cent, eight points ahead of Labour.

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