Politics

Tory MP asked if he's considered 'double-decker ambulances' over NHS bed row

Related video: Thousands of nurses walk out over pay and conditions in biggest strike in NHS history

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When it comes to offering the most ridiculous political takes, Tory MP John Redwood’s Twitter account is the gift that keeps on giving – having now taken aim at NHS managers for seemingly not taking one specific decision amid the ongoing healthcare crisis.

Just “put more beds in”, obviously.

In the latest baffling tweet which makes us more convinced Mr Redwood’s account is a parody (thanks for the added confusion, Elon), the MP for Wokingham pondered: “We hear how the NHS is short of beds. Why don’t managers put more in?”

This is of course off the back of calls for hospitals to free up hospital beds and speed up discharges ahead of ambulance workers going on strike next Wednesday, and the Wednesday after that (28 December).

Members of the unions GMB, Unite and Unison will strike on those two days, with nine ambulance trusts in England believed to be affected on 21 December and eight on 28 December.

In a letter to NHS trusts and integrated care boards ahead of the industrial action, NHS England’s chief operating officer Sir David Sloman and national medical director Professor Stephen Powis – together with chief nursing officer Dame Ruth May – set out three “essential actions” to ensure patient and staff safety.

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These include putting in place measures to enable patient handovers from ambulance staff “no later than 15 minutes after arrival” and “[freeing] up maximum bed capacity by safely discharging patients … in advance of industrial action”.

Which brings us to Mr Redwood’s suggestion that NHS bosses could simply “put more beds in” to fix the issue, which is about as smart as a chancellor going ahead with a disastrous mini-budget despite allegedly being warned just how bad that would be.

Oh. Wait.

Thankfully, Twitter was on hand to point out to Mr Redwood just how silly his tweet sounds.

“This must be a parody account, as I’m sure the real John Redwood would know the NHS just don’t have the staff to do that,” responded the political video account Haggis UK.

Another quipped: “Bit annoyed this parody account gets a blue tick.”

“Have you considered ordering some double decker ambulances too,” a third account mocked.

Others referenced the Tories’ inaccurate “40 new hospitals” line and reminded Mr Redwood that you kind of need nurses alongside the beds.

It is with considerable regret that we say it isn’t the first time this Conservative MP has sent out an unfortunate tweet.

His comments from August 2021 calling on climate activist Greta Thunberg to “concentrate on China” instead of the UK backfired, as did his suggestion to “just recruit and train some more” lorry drivers to fix the shortage sparked by Brexit and coronavirus.

He also described Rishi Sunak’s time as chancellor as a “Gordon Brown tribute act”, only for people to point out that the former Labour prime minister actually did a pretty good job when in charge – especially considering, you know, the whole financial crisis and everything.

So please, John, put the phone down.

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