Jeremy Hunt has been blasted after tweeting a picture of “clever” use of staffing spreadsheets at a hospital - which reveals huge gaps.
The health secretary was branded “dim” by one Twitter user for posting the chart, put together by Ipswich Hospital, which features large numbers of ‘red cells’ indicating shortages of workers.
He described the system as a “really clever use of technology to ensure staffing levels are maintained throughout the day”.
Really clever use of technology at @IpswichHosp to ensure safe staffing levels are maintained throughout the day. Thanks to staff who came for a constructive discussion on safety. pic.twitter.com/MWNRYYj69n— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) January 18, 2018
But Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth was quick to pick up on the issue, tweeting: ”Really clever use of twitter to show how understaffed our NHS really is...#RedCells.”
Others also expressed their disbelief at Hunt’s actions, claiming they revealed his lack of understanding of pressure on the NHS.
You do understand what that sheet is actually saying, don't you Jeremy?— Dr Ben White (@drbenwhite) January 19, 2018
Did you honestly just tweet this??? It looks to me they are short staffed all over? Like every hospital in the country?!— Paige Blacker (@PaigeBlacker) January 18, 2018
This one tweet pretty much sums up you have no idea what's going on in the NHS or understanding what the potential risks are. #lookatwhatyour tweeting— Andy Robinson (@AndyRobinson86) January 19, 2018
Oh Jeremy. You’re really quite dim, aren’t you.— Anne Nonymous #FBPE (@LeftardAnne) January 19, 2018
Thousands of routine operations were cancelled earlier this month due to staff shortages and increased demand on the health service during the winter months.
A National Audit Office report released on Friday revealed says £1.8 billion, handed to the health service in 2016 to give it breathing space to set itself up to survive on significantly less funding in future years, has been spent almost entirely on dealing with existing problems with increased demand and budget constraints.
Ashworth said: “We’re now into the eighth year of Tory under-funding of our NHS - the biggest financial squeeze in its history and as the independent NAO reveals today cash isn’t spent on service inprovment but hospital deficits.
“We have a year-round crisis. We will give the NHS the long-term funding needed.”