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Rishi Sunak holds emergency talks with NHS leaders over winter crisis

Rishi Sunak has held emergency talks over the weekend with NHS and care leaders in an attempt to tackle the winter healthcare crisis in England.

The NHS Recovery Forum at No 10 on Saturday focused on four key issues: social care and delayed discharge, urgent and emergency care, elective care and primary care.

A Downing Street spokesperson said the aim was “to help share knowledge and practical solutions so that we can tackle the most crucial challenges such as delayed discharge and emergency care”.

But Sunak has been warned that the meeting is unlikely to reverse the NHS’s fortunes. Labour said patients deserved more than a “talking shop” and the Liberal Democrats said it was “too little, too late”.

Senior doctors say the NHS is on a knife-edge, with many A&E units struggling to keep up with demand and trusts and ambulance services declaring critical incidents.

Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said there were “no silver bullets” to solving the crisis at hospitals and other care centres.

“This crisis has been a decade or more in the making and we are now paying the high price for years of inaction and managed decline,” he said. “Patients are experiencing delays that we haven’t seen for years".

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Source: The Guardian, 7 January 2023


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