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Prime minister tackled on nursing shortages by angry father during hospital visit

Omar Salem confronted prime minister Boris Johnson during a press visit to a London hospital
Omar Salem (left) confronts Boris Johnson as Alan Gurney (centre) looks on Picture: PA

Omar Salem confronted prime minister Boris Johnson during a press visit to a London hospital, where the PM also met the RCN Nurse of the Year

A concerned father has confronted the prime minister about understaffing in the NHS, during a visit to a London hospital maternity ward.

Omar Salem, who is also a Labour activist, told Boris Johnson the NHS was being 'destroyed' and that his baby daughter nearly died due to staff shortages at Whipps Cross University Hospital.

Mr Salem said there were not enough nurses and doctors on the ward and added: 'This ward is not safe for children.

Omar Salem confronted prime minister Boris Johnson during a press visit to a London hospital, where the PM also met the RCN Nurse of the Year

 PAOmar Salem (left) confronts Boris Johnson as Whipps Cross University Hospital's Alan Gurney (centre) looks on
Omar Salem (left) confronts Boris Johnson as Whipps Cross University Hospital's
Alan Gurney (centre) looks on. Picture: PA

A concerned father has confronted the prime minister about understaffing in the NHS, during a visit to a London hospital maternity ward.

Omar Salem, who is also a Labour activist, told Boris Johnson the NHS was being 'destroyed' and that his baby daughter nearly died due to staff shortages at Whipps Cross University Hospital.

Mr Salem said there were not enough nurses and doctors on the ward and added: 'This ward is not safe for children. There was one registrar covering the entirety of this ward on the neonatal unit.

'That is just not acceptable, is it?

'Would you like that for your own children?'

Mr Johnson responded during the exchange: ‘We're actually here to find out what we can do to refurbish this hospital.'

Speaking out on safe staffing

Responding to the incident an RCN spokesperson said: 'Just hours after nursing staff pulled back the curtain on dire shortages across the country, the public is following our request for them to speak up.

'This is not comfortable for anyone but it's a frank conversation the public and politicians need to have and will be a big issue in any forthcoming election.

'Today's example is a warning to all parties that they need to have clear and meaningful answers on how they'll resolve this crisis.'

Taurai Matare met PM Boris Johnson
RCN Nurse of the Year Taurai Matare met PM Boris Johnson during his visit to 
Whipps Cross University Hospital, London. Picture: PA

Whipps Cross University Hospital chief executive Alan Gurney said: 'We are constantly reviewing staffing levels on our wards to ensure our patients are safe at all times, but occasionally – as in fact happened on this ward last night – an unexpected emergency in one part of the hospital can cause temporary pressure elsewhere.'

On Twitter last night Mr Johnson responded to the incident, stating: ‘I’ve been PM for 57 days, part of my job is to talk to people on the ground and listen to what they tell me about the big problems.

‘It doesn’t matter if they agree with me. I’m glad this gentleman told me his problems.’

Mr Johnson also met with RCN Nurse of the Year Taurai Matare during his visit to the hospital.


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