- New Health Secretary Therese Coffey outlines her four priorities for fixing crippled healthcare
- ‘ABCD’ list revolves around ambulance delays, backlog, access to social care and doctors
- But the plan makes no mention of the workforce crisis, which commentators say is central to NHS performance
- Dr Coffey, who holds a PhD in chemistry, brags that ‘there are more people working in the NHS than ever before’
- Professor Philip Banfield, President of the Council of the British Medical Association, called his comments ‘bizarre’
- The nurses’ union said that Dr. Coffey ‘must start at the other end of the alphabet with a W’ for the workforce
Angry health unions today accused Therese Coffey of being ‘completely out of touch’ and warned she was on a ‘collision course’ with medics on her first day as health secretary.
Tasked with healing the ailing NHS by close friend and new Prime Minister Liz Truss, Dr Coffey has already outlined four of his priorities in getting the crippled healthcare back on its feet.
The 50-year-old ‘ABCD’ list resolves fatal ambulance delays, tackles record pandemic-induced backlogs for treatment, eases monumental pressure in the social care sector and ensures patients can see their GP and dentist whenever they want. revolves around doing.
But Dr Coffey made no mention of the workforce crisis, which commentators say is central to the health service’s dire performance.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4 today, Dr Coffey, who has a PhD in Chemistry, also said that ‘there are more people working in the NHS than ever before’.
Professor Philip Banfield, President of the Council of the British Medical Association, called his comments ‘bizarre’.
He added: ‘For patients waiting for hours in trolleys and ambulances or healthcare workers struggling to find appointments at their practice or to provide care amid rota intervals and staff shortages, these comments are completely Will be out of touch.
The Royal College of Nursing, which wants its 300,000 members to strike on pay, said Dr Coffey should start at the other end of the alphabet with a ‘W for the workforce’.
Critics also said Ms Truss’s controversial plan to take billions away from the NHS and pump it directly into social care would be ‘absolutely disastrous for patients’. Dr. Coffey confirmed that the new prime minister planned to proceed with the move during an action-packed media round this morning, in an interview that was interrupted by Dr. Dre Hitt’s 8 a.m. mobile phone alarm.
Trolls also made fun of Dr. Coffey’s weight and criticized him for smoking, as there was a famous picture on social media of him holding a glass of fizz with a cigar in his mouth. Supporters, however, point to dozens of male lawmakers who were given the ‘throne’ for doing the same thing.
She was also forced to say that her personal anti-abortion views, which critics had slammed as ‘deeply concerning’, would not influence her decisions when she was in charge of the health department.
Dr Coffey (pictured in Downing Street this morning), who is also the new deputy prime minister, said she would put ambulances, backlogs, care, doctors and dentists at the top of her agenda.
Who is this coffee?
The Secretary for Work and Pensions is a fellow member of the 2010 Parliamentary Party, whose Suffolk Coastal constituency is neighboring Ms Truss’s South West Norfolk seat, and has been a longtime ally.
He has earned a reputation as a ‘workhorse’ at Westminster due to his scientific focus and willingness to work long hours.
Dr. Coffey was Ms. Truss’s campaign manager in the parliamentary phase of the leadership election.
The pair became friends while campaigning as young Tories in the late nineties and early nineties.
Ms Coffey earned her PhD in Chemistry at University College London and worked in finance at Mars Drinks UK and the BBC before being elected as an MP.
He attended his first cabinet meeting in 2019 after being appointed to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), where he earned praise for his relatively quiet stint in what was seen as a toxic cup in the government.
Colleagues describe Ms Truss and Dr Coffey as ‘yin and yang’, with Ms Truss seen as a big-picture politician and Ms Coffey as a forensic operator who helps them in. Know in a nutshell.
But despite his work ethic, the new health secretary has several opinions that could shake the feathers of senior NHS leaders.
In an interview in June following the Roe v. Wade decision in the US, she said she would prefer that women “not have abortions”, but added that she would not “condemn people who do”.
She has defended her decision to vote against same-sex marriage in the UK in 2013 and in Northern Ireland in 2019, citing her faith as a Catholic.
She got into hot water when she was filmed a year ago The Time of My Life kicked out at a boozy Conservative karaoke party conference bash hours before it cut benefits payments to six million people.
Her alcohol-fueled karaoke parties in Whitehall, of which Ms Truss is a regular participant, have become famous in Westminster.
On his first day, Dr Coffey – the third health secretary in so many months to take over from Steve Barkley, who himself had replaced Sajid Javid – vowed to ensure ‘we are delivering for patients’. .
Actual details of how the crises named in his ABCD mantra would be dealt were not revealed, although Dr Coffey is expected to set out further plans in an emergency blueprint next week.
In an interview with Sky News, Dr Coffey said: ‘We’ve got priorities A, B, C and D – ambulance, backlog, care, doctors and dentists. We are going to work through it and make sure we are delivering for the patients.’
According to the latest NHS figures, heart attack and stroke patients wait an average of an hour for a vehicle to turn on – more than three times the target of 18 minutes. Terrible delays have also seen patients waiting…
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