GB News row erupts as Christys skewered in NHS backlog debate ‘Where’d you do journalism!’

GB News: Patrick Christys shut down by Roy Lilley

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With concerns over the ever-expanding NHS waiting list following a year and a half of delays and postponements as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, GB News hosts Patrick Christys and Mercy Muroki welcomed Roy Lilley onto the channel to discuss. Christys had opened his 9am show on Monday with a passionate rant about whether the NHS was “built for purpose” and following reports the NHS waiting list could rise to 14 million by autumn 2022, he probed Lilley on what could come next. However, when the former TalkRADIO host suggested GPs didn’t want to return to their offices and places of work, a row soon erupted.

Christys kicked off the discussion by asking Lilley the “built for purpose” question just moments after he joined them via video link.

“It’s [the NHS] come through a pretty difficult period, that’s for sure,” Lilley replied before referring to Christys’ opening monologue.

“In your earlier polemic, you said that you thought the NHS was overwhelmed, it wasn’t overwhelmed by Covid. I mean it came through Covid, it struggled through Covid by the skin of its teeth and a lot of people worked very hard and performed heroically.

“The NHS wasn’t prepared for it, the politicians weren’t prepared for it, we weren’t funded for it, and the NHS struggled through.”

Lilley then turned his attention to the aforementioned backlog, insisting it’s partly down to the fact vulnerable people were shielding and staying home among other factors.

So when Christys interrupted to suggest another factor was GPs “having to be convinced” to go back to the office, Lilley didn’t take it too kindly.

“Is the NHS up for it though, because you know GPs had to be convinced to go back to work, there’s talk of an NHS strike -“ Christys began before Lilley promptly cut him off.

“Hold it, hold it, hold it. Stop. Stop,” Lilley said as he held his hand to the camera. “Explain to me what you mean by GPs had to (be convinced) to go back to work?”

Christys replied: “Well, they had to be told by the British Medical Journal that they actually had to go back to their actual offices, they had to go back to their physical premises -“

“Stop!” Lilley shouted as he tried to interrupt but Christsys continued: “I’m not stopping actually because this is a very important issue.

“Well, then you don’t want me on the programme do you?” Lilley argued as Christys continued: “Someone very close to me could only get a GP’s appointment over FaceTime and they were misdiagnosed with eczema when it was skin cancer.

“That’s an issue, Roy,” the GB News presenter added, prompting a furious Lilley to weigh back in: “What you mean when you say doctors had to go back to the office persuaded by the British Medical Journal, you’re talking rubbish.”

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Christys defended his stance by referring to the BMJ’s report, despite Lilley blasting it as a “magazine”, with the former NHS Trust chair adding: “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Christys continued to defend his argument but it was clear Lilley wasn’t on board, prompting Muroki to jump in and put to Lilley the same point and referring to patients seeing GPs over the phone.

Clearly incensed by the line of questioning, Lilley hit back: “Let’s get the language right, shall we? During Covid, because of the risk of spreading Covid, we didn’t go to pubs, we didn’t go to hairdressers, it’s the same with GP practices.

“The GP practices, very wisely, said if you can avoid coming here, please do that for the same reason we avoided going shopping in Sainsbury’s.”

Lilley went on to say how the NHS has now moved on and face to face, video and phone appointments are now all available and funded to try and wade through the backlog.

“So whatever you’ve read in the marginal press or picked up on Twitter, you’re wrong,” he emphasised, prompting Christys to try and move on with the debate by putting the estimated autumn 2022 figure to Lilley.

Again, Lilley didn’t beat around the bush as he took aim at Christys: “Well, you can’t stop it happening, can you? I mean you are the past master of the wrong use of language.

“I don’t know where you came from with your journalism but you can’t stop it happening, it’s happened. The question you need to ask me is what can we do about it, Roy?”

Christys tried to laugh off the swipe as Roy ended up answering his own question before the tense encounter came to a close.

To The Point airs weekdays at 9am on GB News.

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