Johnson ‘sympathises’ with relative of OAP who waited for hours in A&E corridor

Boris Johnson has said he sympathises with the relative of an elderly woman who spent hours in an A&E corridor waiting for a bed, after being shown pictures of the 88-year-old in an interview.

During a BBC Breakfast appearance on the campaign trail, Mr Johnson was presented with statistics which said targets for A&E, cancer services and routine care waiting times had not been met for several years.

After questioning the Prime Minister on the statistics, presenter Naga Munchetty remained on the topic of the NHS and played an interview clip to the Conservative leader.

Peter Tuck, whose 88-year-old mother-in-law has dementia and faced a six-hour wait on a trolley in A&E, said there were “trolleys in the corridors, trolleys in the doorways” at the hospital.

“They had to move trolleys out of the way to get trolleys by,” Mr Tuck said in the clip, as pictures of the 88-year-old on an A&E trolley were shown.

“And it didn’t stop there, as you nipped out to the loo, literally (trolleys) waiting in the doors to come in.”

In response to the clip, the Prime Minister said: “I sympathise very much for Peter’s experience and for his mother, and we have got to do better, and I don’t deny that.

“But that doesn’t mean that I’m not also incredibly proud of what the NHS is achieving.

“You look at other services around the world, we have amazing staff and amazing doctors, and, yes, we need to be investing more in them and that’s exactly what we’re doing. But that’s not the only thing we’re doing.”

New figures released by NHS England on Thursday show a continuing decline against key targets, as health experts warned the health service was facing one of its “bleakest” ever winters.

It was the last set of monthly health data before the General Election.

The Prime Minister said he last used NHS services after standing on glass at a barbecue – and staff at the hospital told him more investment was needed.

“I have a wonderful hospital in Hillingdon in Uxbridge which I represent and foolishly I was making a barbecue and there was a bit of broken glass on the ground for some reason or another, someone had dropped a cafetiere,” Mr Johnson said.

“I was jumping up and down – I think there was music playing – and a piece of glass went straight into the bottom of my foot and into my sole, my heel.

“It was absolute agony and it went away for a while and Hillingdon were incredible. This was last year.”

When asked about the response to his visit by hospital staff, he replied: “They said what they needed was more investment and that’s what we’re providing, the biggest ever cash investment in the NHS, £34 billion, and we want to continue to do that, and the crucial way we can continue to do that is by having a strong, robust, dynamic economy.”