On Thursday, George Osborne spoke of his regret over an NHS patient spending three days in a cramped cupboard on a stretched ward.
But the Chancellor then astonishingly blamed patients for putting pressure on hospitals that have been hit by savage Coalition cuts – by turning up there sick.
Mr Osborne was asked on live TV about the Daily Mirror’s revelation that Michael Steel, 63, was wheeled into a store room while on a drip and being treated for an inflamed liver because of a unprecedented number of emergency cases being admitted to his ward at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex.
“It is a matter of regret to me, it is a matter of regret to every member of the Government. The truth is…there are a lot more people going to A&E. We need to make sure that people have all the information they need about where they need to go if they’re not feeling well, and A&E is not always the answer for people.”
But College of Emergency Medicine president Dr Clifford Mann had already pointed out this week patients are being sent to A&E by risk-averse call centre staff at the “absurd” NHS 111 help line and it was not their fault hospitals and casualties are in crisis.
Michael blamed cuts for putting staff under pressure. He woke up in the store room, surrounded by medical supplies.
The dad-of-two told how he kept being disturbed and was wheeled in and out as staff tried to reach drugs from the fridge.
Even one of the doctors asked him: “What on earth are you doing in hear.”