After a week featuring several critical interventions from Labour figures over plans for the NHS, the papers today see a couple of uncomfortable truths for David Cameron from close to home.
The Observer reveals that Tory MP and ex-health minister Stephen Dorrell thinks that the NHS reforms have been the biggest mistake of the Coalition Government. They report:
Asked if he regards the Health and Social Care Act of 2012, driven through the Commons by Andrew Lansley in the face of furious opposition from the health sector, as the biggest mistake of this parliament he is in no doubt at all. “Yes I do agree with that. The reason I agree with it is partly for the political fallout, but the thing I care most about is the lost opportunity in the health and care system.”
The Mail on Sunday have quotes from David Cameron’s brother-in-law, who is an NHS doctor, bemoaning the pressure put on services as “unprecedented”. Dr Carl Brookes, married to Cameron’s sister, said:
“It is important people understand this is unprecedented. There is no doubt that we, and other hospitals around the country, are facing extraordinary challenges.”
“There are problems with access to adult services – we are seeing a lot of frail, elderly people who need special care. If the back door is blocked, it makes it difficult to get in the front door.”
Meanwhile, the beds shortage in the health service has reached such levels that young mental health patients are having to be admitted to adult wards.