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Sajid Javid says pretending the NHS is the ‘best at everything’ won’t help ANYONE

Pretending the NHS is the ‘best at everything’ will not help anyone, Sajid Javid said today as he committed to driving down England’s record-high waiting lists.

In his 100th day in the job, the Health Secretary said accepting the NHS’s flaws was the first step in chopping down the backlog that has amassed during the pandemic.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference today, Mr Javid said that the health service was ‘staffed by some of the best people our country has to offer’.

But he added: ‘But that of course doesn’t mean that as an organisation, it is the best at everything. It wouldn’t help anyone to pretend otherwise.’  

The warning shot was aimed at NHS fat cats, who Mr Javid said face the sack if they fail to cut down waiting lists for routine operations.  

Almost 5.6million people are waiting for operations on the health service currently, the highest number since records began.

Mr Javid warned about the real possibility of this number soaring to 13million people in the coming months as the NHS battles winter pressures. 

He announced a major review of NHS leadership and management in a bid to shake up the health service during his speech today.  

Mr Javid said he has asked retired General Sir Gordon Messenger to lead a review of leadership and management in health and social care. 

Pretending the NHS is the ‘best at everything’ will not help anyone, Sajid Javid said today as he committed to driving down England’s record high waiting lists

The number of patients waiting for routine hospital treatment hit 5.6million in July, the highest figure since records began in 2007

The number of patients waiting for routine hospital treatment hit 5.6million in July, the highest figure since records began in 2007

Speaking at the conference today, Mr Javid said: ‘When I came in, I said that I was not just the Covid Secretary, but the Health and Social Care Secretary.

‘There was no doubt about the biggest item spilling out of my in-tray: an NHS waiting list that will get worse before it gets better, projected to grow as high as 13 million.

‘No government, no health secretary, no society can accept that.

‘That’s why we have prioritised elective recovery – check-ups, scans, surgeries with the biggest catch-up fund in the history of the NHS.

‘You’re not quite a GP, but at least you’re in healthcare’: Sajid Javid jokes he was a ‘cool kid’ and that his Asian mother always wanted him to be a doctor 

Sajid Javid joked his mother was proud of him for becoming Health Secretary 100 days ago — but not as proud as she would have been if he was a GP.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference today, Mr Javid said

He said: ‘When we were last here I talked about how proud my mother was.

‘To see me go from living in a small flat above the shop, to living above Downing Street.

‘But I can tell you that she’s even prouder now.

‘Like many Asian mothers, she always wanted me to be a doctor.

‘When I told her about this job, she said: ‘Well you didn’t quite make it to GP, but at least you’re working in healthcare!’

‘And we are already delivering including rolling out surgical hubs, and 40 new Community Diagnostic Centres right across the country.’

One in ten people in England are stuck on waiting list for operations, with the numbers expected to continue to rise in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

NHS data showed that 5.6million people across the country were waiting for elective surgery in July — the most since records began in 2007. 

Mr Javid today urged patients facing long waiting times because of the backlog of routine procedures — which spiked during the Covid pandemic — not to go private.

He insisted the health service ‘can manage it’ but refused to say when he expects the lists to clear, on his hundredth day in the job. 

Meanwhile, Mr Javid admitted remote GP appointments on the health service are here to stay after the pandemic. 

He is preparing new powers to seize control of hospitals which aren’t performing well enough, according to The Times. 

The Health Secretary is under pressure from No10 to reduce waiting times after last month’s £36billion spending plan for health and social care.

Mr Javid wants key NHS roles to go to business leaders and other outsiders with proven track records, to help deliver results. 

A senior Whitehall insider told The Times: ‘Patients need to see tangible results and waiting times coming down. 

‘The [Department of Health] cannot simply be a cheerleader for the NHS. It needs to rigorously hold it to account for the money it has been given.’ 

But unions today warned Mr Javid’s approach to reform risked being ‘very counterproductive’.

Patients forced to wait more than 18 weeks for routine surgery – the maximum time someone should wait under the NHS’s own rules – reached 1.7million in July, the highest level in four months

Some 293,000 people had been waiting more than a year for treatment on the NHS by July this year, figures showed. This was down slightly on last month when there were 304,803 people on the list, but still almost three times the same levels last year

Some 293,000 people had been waiting more than a year for treatment on the NHS by July this year, figures showed. This was down slightly on last month when there were 304,803 people on the list, but still almost three times the same levels last year

Boots to offer £15 ‘GP-style’ appointments to take pressure off the NHS this winter 

Boots has announced it will offer £15 face-to-face appointments this winter to help ease the burden on the NHS.

The high-street pharmacy is branching out to offer appointments with pharmacists for minor ailments.

Pharmacists are being trained to diagnose illnesses and write prescriptions amid a drop-off in in-person GP appointments offered on the NHS.

Boots chief executive Seb James told The Sun: ‘Rather than wait two weeks to see a GP, people can get immediate diagnosis, treatment and medication for the price of a Nando’s.’

The appointments will start at £15, which includes prescription costs.

Mr James said Boris Johnson called him at the start of the pandemic to see if Boots would help the NHS with testing.

He said: ‘I assured him we would not seek to make a profit out of Covid.

‘This policy enabled us to move quickly and help the nation. Hopefully, this new venture will continue that trend.’

Chief executive of Managers in Partnership Jon Restell told The Independent: ‘We have a leadership team that, like other NHS staff, has gone through the wringer in the last 18 months.

‘They are doing their level best now to get their services ready for reducing waiting times.

‘For this kind of thing to be coming out of government just before we go into winter will be upsetting for some NHS managers and will anger a lot of others.’

Mr Javid is understood to be frustrated with limits on minister’s powers to hold NHS leadership to account, with hospitals enjoying considerable local autonomy. 

Waiting lists spiralled after Covid forced hospitals to cancel routine operations and turn over wards to patients suffering from the disease. 

Social distancing and extra precautions made it harder to chip away at the record waiting lists.  

The waiting list includes people waiting for operations like knee, hip and joint replacements, as well as cataracts surgery. 

Record numbers of patients are now turning to private health rather than waiting for help from the NHS, figures show, with one private provider seeing patient numbers rise by 80 per cent on the back of the pandemic. 

But speaking to The Guardian, Mr Javid said he would not encourage patients to go private.

He said: ‘No. That’s always a choice for people that can afford it, and that’s up to them. But it’s not certainly something I would be recommending to anyone.

‘I don’t want a situation where too many more people just stop [using the health service] … because I want them to use the NHS. The NHS can manage it.’

Shadow Health Minister Jonathan Ashworth last week warned the climbing waiting lists could result in the Government privatising more of the NHS. 

And the chief executive of Spire Healthcare — which runs 39 private hospitals across Britain — Justin Ash said demand for their services had rocketed by 80 per cent.

Is Sajid Javid about to backtrack on GP appointments? Health Secretary says he has ‘no problem’ with online check-ups if people want them

Sajid Javid last night admitted remote GP appointments are here to stay after the pandemic.

The Health Secretary told a fringe event at the Tory conference that if phone or online appointments were what people wanted, then he had ‘no problem’ with that.

And he said there was a ‘role’ for remote consultations because many people like them.

Last night a source close to Mr Javid insisted he was still in favour of people having the right to choose face-to-face GP appointments.

Only last month, when the Daily Mail launched its campaign for GPs to get back to more ‘in person’ consultations, the Health Secretary said: ‘I am committed to ensuring everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, can choose to see their GP face-to-face.’

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme last month: ‘An increasing number of people are choosing to pay for their care.

‘In particular, they’re finding it difficult to get through to hard-pressed GPs.’

Mr Ash added that the NHS should use private hospitals to help clear its backlog, saying it would be ‘good for getting the waiting list down if companies like us were used more’.

It comes as Boots announced is branching out to offer face-to-face appointments with pharmacists for minor ailments to reduce the pressure on the health service.

Pharmacists are being trained to diagnose illnesses and write prescriptions amid a drop-off in in-person GP appointments offered on the NHS.

Boots chief executive Seb James told The Sun: ‘Rather than wait two weeks to see a GP, people can get immediate diagnosis, treatment and medication for the price of a Nando’s.’

The appointments will start at £15, which includes prescription costs.

Mr Javid on Sunday said there was a ‘role’ for remote consultations because many people like them.

A source close to Mr Javid insisted he was still in favour of people having the right to choose face-to-face GP appointments. 

But Dennis Reed, director of campaign group Silver Voices, said he hoped Mr Javid was not ‘backtracking’.

Before the Covid crisis, around 80 per cent of GP appointments were face to face. That slumped during the pandemic and even now has only recovered to 58 per cent.

The Mail is campaigning for a return to the level of in-person appointments as before the pandemic.

At the fringe event, Mr Javid was questioned by a delegate who said the ‘most obvious way to raise productivity in the health service system is to move from in-person meetings with your GP’ to phone or online consultations.

He asked: ‘Do you intend to have more of that in the future?’

The Health Secretary replied: ‘There’s a role for remote consultations when it comes to healthcare.

‘I’m not just talking about it in primary care, with GPs. There was a lot more during the pandemic, more remote consultations throughout the NHS, and I suspect — in fact I know that from speaking to clinicians — that a lot of that will continue.

‘It continues because — I don’t think this is surprising at all — that you find a lot of people that actually prefer it.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk