Jeremy Hunt. Photo: Flickr/University of Salford Press Office, 2012 Jeremy Hunt. Photo: Flickr/University of Salford Press Office, 2012

As part of her reshuffle, May has added Social Care to Jeremy Hunt’s remit. The People’s Assembly and Health Campaigns Together respond

An emergency demonstration has been organised in London on Saturday 3 February in response to the worsening Winter Crisis in the NHS.Tens of thousands are expected to attend the demonstration. The organisers of the demonstration have released this statement following Theresa May’s reshuffle yesterday:

Jeremy Hunt remaining as health secretary is nothing short of a kick in the teeth to all patients and staff who are suffering under his disastrous tenure in charge of the NHS, which is enduring the worst winter crisis for decades. People are suffering and dying, languishing in ambulances and hospital corridors, and all we get from Hunt is a hollow apology.

He should have been sacked. Instead he has a new job title of Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, obscuring the fact that his department has always been responsible for social care policy. Hunt has done nothing to abate the growing social care crisis and a mere change in job title is unlikely to remedy this.

Like the NHS the problems of Social Care are due to underfunding and privatisation, two issues Hunt fails to acknowledge or address. Local authorities are spending £6 billion less on social care than in 2010 when Tory austerity began. Nearly 1.2 million people aged over 65 don’t receive the help they need with essential daily living activities. Additionally, the crisis in Social Care is contributing to the NHS crisis as increasing numbers of elderly patients are stuck in hospital because there is no care for them at home.

Unless this government starts to fund the NHS and social care properly there will be crisis upon crisis until the whole system fails.

We have no confidence that Hunt or his Government will address the funding issues of health or social care. Hunt’s philosophy is further privatisation of social care. He told a health select committee that the elderly were a good “commercial opportunity”.

Patients, the elderly, disabled and infirm deserve much better than this. To secure the future of our vital public services it is now more urgent than ever before to get rid of this Tory Government and replace it with one that really cares for people, not “commercial opportunities.”

The People’s Assembly & Health Campaigns Together have called an Emergency Demonstration: NHS in Crisis – Fix It Now! on Saturday 3 Feb 2018. Also check out our Facebook Event, share widely and invite your friends. See you on the streets.

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