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Health Minister Steve Barclay’s Christmas and New Year Facebook backlash

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Health Minister Steve Barclay – MP for NE Cambridgeshire – has come under fire for his Christmas and New Year’s messages.

Mr Barclay posted the messages on his Facebook page and although some reciprocated his seasonal greetings, many tore into him over nurses pay and the state of the NHS.

Steve Barclay visit to new Royal Liverpool Hospital

Annie Le posted: “One of your 95-year-old constituents, born and bred, left school at 14 to work the land is currently in hospital and has been very poorly.

“12 hours it took to get an update from the hospital as they are short staffed. Do not blame the staff or unions. The problem is the pay should have been increased over the years then we would not have this problem and unions would not have to be involved.

“My mum and I will not be spending Christmas together as she has now caught flu in hospital and the discharge plan will be slow due to admin shortage.

Steve Barclay visiting ambulance control in Essex

“I am not an angry person or nasty person just voicing my concern and opinion, as good many people will be cold and have no food, relying on the big society to support them. Mostly working families.”

Mr Barclay took to Facebook “to wish all constituents across North East Cambridgeshire a very Merry Christmas.

“While a time for joy and celebration for many, there are some who will be struggling this festive season. I wanted to highlight a few useful links for those who may need support.”

His list included finding support for the homeless, help with loneliness, debt, and the contact details of The Samaritans.

Anne Trevor told him: “Very sad that your Christmas message has to be sign posting the desperate to sources of help. Reflect on it. How did the country get into this state?”

Stamford hospital visit by Steve Barclay MP

Richard Lethbridge wrote: “A few useful links? Oh, how valiant of you. Yet currently you are single handedly destroying the NHS because you will not pay them their worth.

“You’ve got a nerve posting helpline links. My mother had to wait inside an ambulance for 19 hours before she could be admitted to hospital several weeks back.”

Mr Barclay’s New Year message did not fare much better.

“I’d like to wish all constituents a very Happy New Year and hope that 2023 brings health and happiness to you, your friends and families,” he wrote.

“It’s a time of year when we can look forward with positivity to all the challenges a new year brings.

“I’m sure like the last few years, 2023 will have some surprises in store for us but now is a time to be grateful for all we have and hopeful for the year ahead. Best wishes to you all.”

Steve Logan hoped his own experience would grab Mr Barclay’s attention.

“Just got back from having a scan at hospital in Sheffield,” he wrote.

“The waiting room was topically hot with all six radiators set to maximum on the rad valves, and the windows wide open to try to cool the room down.

“Disgusted at the waste I suggested to the receptionist that the radiators could be turned down. I know she said. ‘But if I log the job with maintenance, it will take them a day to get around to it’. I suggested that I would happily do it for them and would take less than 30 seconds.

“Oh no she said best to leave them, or I will have to call maintenance to come and close the windows.

“Under funded? Literally have money to burn, bureaucratic and hardly eco-friendly. It is all so easy when you are spending public money isn’t it?”

Ellie May suggested to Mr Barclay that “in solidarity, why don’t you give up your non-essential expenses that aren’t office related?

“And have a Christmas dinner based on what a food bank would hand out to a pensioner on pension credit who has struggled to pay rising energy bills and heat your family home in a similar fashion.

“Then volunteer for a night shift with the East of England paramedic crew; it starts out at 12 hours for a shift but can extend to 13/14 hours if there is no handover available and you may also not get a refreshment break and will go home to a cold house with tins and packets for dinner.

“Then you can temper your comments on how people are living, because you couldn’t be any more disconnected if you tried.”

Bob Giles wrote: “Mr Barclay, I am an ambulance technician and see the daily chaos of the system.

“Now patients cannot get past the receptionist who either states call 111 or call an ambulance. We regularly go to calls where patients inform us GPs have refused to attend.

“In some cases, it is merely a review of medication or a basic requirement for antibiotics. We are the face to face which ties up crews, it backs up urgent care and creates further unwanted pressure.

“For god’s sake instruct GPs to return to pre pandemic levels and stop receptionists being obstructive to protect GP’s. Action at this level is not being looked at by your office. You are the man with the authority so get to it now or see the entire system collapse beyond recovery on your watch.”

Fiona Gerrard suggested Mr Barclay and the Prime Minister “both manage to acknowledge the immense pressures of the NHS in 2023 and reward the healthcare staff for the immense job they do under the current circus of a regime”.

Rhisiart Hincks wrote: “A shameful, neglectful, government speaks by its inaction, not by empty, meaningless, greetings.”

And Sarah Marie felt “there won’t be a lot of health and happiness this new year unless people can afford to see a private GP or pay their gas bill. Wake up”.

Allan Storer: “Sort out the mess that is 111 then send your meaningless platitudes for a Happy New Year please.”

Daggsey Dibbley: “Let’s hope the surprise is a snap general election to let the voters of this country have their say.”

Charlie Nolf: “A time to be grateful for all we have? You and your cronies have robbed us blind.”

 

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