The PM failed to mention he warned “pressures are great and the system is already running at or close to full stretch”.

The NHS is better prepared for this winter “than ever before”, the Prime Minister claimed in PMQs today, quoting the head of an NHS monitoring service — but the PM failed to quote what he said next.

Theresa May told the House of Commons this afternoon, directly quoting Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers that:

“The health service has prepared more extensively for this winter than ever before. These plans are helping to ensure safe, timely care for patients…”

But the PM failed to quote what the head of NHS Providers said directly after this:

“…But the pressures are great and the system is already running at or close to full stretch.”

Writing in a report earlier this month, responding to data on how the NHS is handling care over the winter, Hopson continued his sombre assessment of the situation:

“Recent daily sitrep data gives cause for concern.”

“Average general and acute bed occupancy is running close to 95 per cent, well above recommended safe levels.”

“We also saw a sharp rise in the number of A&E diverts, and an increase in ambulance handover delays.”

It’s odd that the PM chose to quote Hopson given he’s been critical of the state of the NHS before, saying just days before the above report was released:

“The NHS is already under severe pressure… we cannot say with certainty how tough this winter will be, but the likelihood is that services will be sorely tested.

“We are not where we would want to be as we head into winter.”

It truly shows the state of the health service when the Tories are reduced to misquoting NHS bosses, failing to find any positive opinions at all amongst health professionals.

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