NHS ‘crisis’ due to a ‘change in culture’ says Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith

Iain Duncan Smith has said the NHS "crisis" is down to a "change in culture". Picture: PA

Iain Duncan Smith has said the NHS "crisis" is down to a "change in culture". Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The NHS “crisis” is being caused because patients are going to A&E for ailments that would have been treated by a GP 20 years ago, Iain Duncan Smith has said.

The Conservative MP for Woodford Green was speaking to the Recorder after he had been shown the new high dependency unit, at Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone.

He said a “change in culture” was causing more people to go to emergency departments than their local doctors, for basic problems.

“The pressures are greater, 20 years ago a lot of the things people go to A&E for now, they wouldn’t have.” But the former Tory leader said he didn’t think the current state of the NHS was different from previous winters.

The Red Cross has recently described the health service as being in a “humanitarian crisis”.

Mr Duncan Smith was at Whipps Cross to discuss its latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) report, which described the hospital as “requires improvement”.

“It has been getting better since the previous report, which is good to see, but I wanted to focus on the poorer parts and find out how they’re going to improve those.

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“I want the hospital to get more consistent at delivering better care.”

And the Woodford Green MP said he was delighted with the new high dependency unit.

“It’s for people after surgery, who don’t quite need intensive care. It will free up the theatres and the intensive care ward, which is important as surgery was one of the areas highlighted in the CQC report.”

Whipps Cross managing director Mike Smeeton said he was “delighted” to welcome the MP on the first day the unit opened.

He continued: “Costing £2.4million, the new unit is fully equipped to provide the highest quality care for up to eight people.

“Until now these patients have had to be looked after in our intensive care unit, which wasn’t necessary but we had no other facility.

“So the opening of our new unit means that these patients will now be treated in the most appropriate environment, whilst also creating ample space for patients requiring intensive care and treatment.”