Jeremy Hunt has admitted the winter crisis in the NHS is “unsustainable”, as figures revealed A&E departments suffered their second-worst month on record in January.
The health secretary told ITV News that he realised workers were under huge pressure, with large increases in the number of flu cases, and that more money would need to be spent over the next decade to meet demand.
“I completely recognise the pressures they have been going through,” he said.
“When they signed up to going into medicine, they knew there were going to be pressurised moments.
“But I also recognise that is not sustainable and not fair to say to them that this is going to be repeated year in, year out.
“I think we are beyond the time when words from me will make a difference.
“What they need to see is actions, things that are changing to reduce those pressures that we face.
“I think today’s figures are a sign that some of the things that we have done have made a difference…but that does not mean to say its acceptable, and there is lot more work to do.”