‘My daughter nearly died yesterday. There are NOT enough doctors or nurses’: Furious father of sick baby girl confronts Boris Johnson and accuses him of ‘destroying’ the NHS
- Boris Johnson was visiting Whipps Cross University Hospital in London today
- PM was confronted by parent of sick boy who complained of NHS ‘destruction’
- He said there were not enough doctors or nurses and situation ‘not acceptable’
- Mr Johnson tried to calm the encounter and argued more funding is coming
- Do you know the man who accosted the PM today? Call 020 361 52676
The man said his seven-day old daughter ‘nearly died’ as he accosted the PM at Whipps Cross University Hospital in north-east London.
Complaining there were ‘not enough doctors or nurses’, the furious man – thought to be local Labour activist Omar Salem – said: ‘This ward is not safe for children.’
He told Mr Johnson: ‘There are not enough people on this ward, there are not enough doctors, there’s not enough nurses, it’s not well organised enough.
‘The NHS has been destroyed … and now you come here for a press opportunity.’
As staff tried to intervene and calm the situation, Mr Johnson said he was ‘actually here to find out what we can do’. He said billions of pounds more funding was being pumped into the health service.
But the man retorted: ‘That’s not going to fix things now. Years and years of the NHS being destroyed.’
It is the latest in a series of episodes when the PM has been disrupted by protests – and underlines the pressure he is under on a variety of political fronts.
A Twitter account apparently belonging to Mr Salem gave more details of his motivations this afternoon.
Boris Johnson had the temerity to come to @WhippsCrossHosp for a press opportunity on the children’s ward that my 7 day old daughter is on, having been admitted to A&E yesterday gravely ill.
‘The A&E team were great but she then went for hours on the ward without seeing a doctor.’
The man, whose child was being treated at Whipps Cross University Hospital in north-east London , accosted the PM to complain there were not enough doctors and nurses
During the extraordinary clash, Mr Johnson denied coming to the hospital for a photo op, saying ‘there’s no press here’.
But the incredulous parent gestured to cameras filming the confrontation and said: ‘What do you mean there’s no press here, who are these people?’
The man did not give details of what happened to his daughter, but said she was brought into A&E yesterday, when she was six days and 22 hours old.
He suggested the treatment there had been satisfactory, but problems began when they were brought to the ward and had to wait hours for care.
‘That is not acceptable,’ the man said. ‘This ward is not safe for children. There was one registrar covering the entire (inaudible) and neonatal unit… would you like that for your own children?’
He said there had been ‘years and years and years of the NHS being destroyed’.
Mr Johnson said ‘I understand’, ‘we’re working on it’ and ‘we’re putting more money into it’ as the trust chief executive tried to intervene.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said he was visiting public services to see for himself the reality of the situation.
The spokesman said the man was understandably ‘very distressed’, and Mr Johnson was ‘not going to hide away from those circumstances when he goes on these visits’.
‘Obviously he is keen to talk to people and empathise and see what he can do to help,’ the spokesman added.
‘It’s also a reminder of why exactly he is so keen to make the NHS a priority and make sure it’s getting the funding that it requires.’
Mr Johnson pressed on with the visit (pictured) despite the tense encounter with the frustrated parent today