Lorraine Kelly calls on politicians to listen to health workers over NHS
Presenter Lorraine Kelly has urged politicians to pay more attention to health workers when making “top heavy” decisions about NHS budgets.
The ITV star said she was worried the elderly would continue to suffer the most from lack of healthcare due to too much government “red tape”.
Her comments came during the Good Morning Britain Health Star Awards in central London on Monday, where she described the NHS as a crucial facility that needs proper reform.
She told the Press Association: “We must not scrap the NHS, but I think it’s very difficult because there has been a lot of red tape and it has been very top heavy.
“It’s the people who do the blood transfusions and scrape up the puke that know what’s going wrong, where and what needs to be done to help it.
“You will get far more sense out of a nurse than somebody who has just come out of university with a degree in business, there is just no point bringing in people who have never done the job to make decisions.”
She continued: “We are living longer and we really need a proper conversation about how we look after out elderly people, because I don’t actually think we can pay for it.
“Health workers are doing an amazing job with what they’ve got, but it’s only working at all because of them – the amount of money they get for the stress they are under is crazy.”
Actor Larry Lamb, 69, also weighed in on the debate, describing mental health as the biggest issue in UK healthcare.
“A lot of people, especially young people, really suffer from mental health problems,” he said.
“When I was in my 50s, I was lucky enough to be looked after by a psychiatrist and I spent months talking to people who helped me understand why I was struggling.
“People are often wary about going for the help, but it was the best and most important thing I’ve ever done in my life.
“There are so many stresses and concerns for young people now, you’ve got to have CVs that account for every moment of your life, you can’t just take off and live like we did in my day.”
Kelly praised the work of daily live news programmes in breaking taboos surrounding health and social issues.
Speaking after 32 years in the job, the 57-year-old said: “When I started, you couldn’t even mention cancer, but slowly people have started talking about it and we have kept pushing boundaries with things like HIV and transgender issues – it’s really important.
“But the difficulty now with social media is that you have to be your own editor, practically on your phone all the time.
“When I was at a newspaper, my editor would always tell me to check the source, but it has become very difficult now with the extraordinary stuff people just put out there.”
She added: “Over the years I have developed a really good self-edit button – every day you have to know your stuff and your legal boundaries, and be able to wrap an interview up before you fall off air, while making it look like just a lovely chat.”