Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Milton Keynes tech could be key in dealing with country's 'number one issue'

The Prime Minister visited Milton Keynes to see the futuristic technology being used to combat NHS backlogs firsthand

By James Lowson
Monday, 24th January 2022, 1:06 pm

Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated combating the NHS backlog is his new priority during a press briefing at Milton Keynes Hospital.

Mr Johnson praised the futuristic technology being trialled at the Milton Keynes facility, noting that the tech could be a key way to deal with the influx of patients.

At a briefing with regional press this morning (January 24), the Prime Minister knocked back questions regarding the ongoing report into alleged Downing Street parties which reportedly took place during national lockdowns.

Boris Johnson at Milton Keynes Hospital

Instead, wanting to focus on getting people back in to hospitals to receive NHS treatment, with many waiting months for key treatment, and others staying away due to Covid.

He said getting the NHS back on track after two years of coping with Covid-enforced hospital admissions was his new focus.

The 57-year-old said: "What I'm looking to do today is to look at the number one issue facing British people, and that is we're coming out of Covid, we hope, touch wood.

"Omicron, has been another grim experience for our country, but it is starting to recede.

The Prime Minister with Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart

"The biggest issue we face and the reason I'm here at Milton Keynes University Hospital is, because we've got six million people now awaiting treatment for one kind or another in the NHS.

"Record numbers in the backlog. That number, I've got to tell you, I've got to tell our listeners is going to go up, because people will inevitably come forward who didn't get treatments during Covid and who need those treatments.They must come forward.

"What I want to tell you is we are focused 100% on trying to fix those backlogs, on trying to contract that period that people have to wait.

"I don't believe that there is a family in this country that hasn't had some experience of somebody who needed treatment and who was delayed.

"Whether it was cancer or anything else, and that is the priority for the government and that's why we're putting the £36 billion more in. That's why there's 44,000 more people in the NHS today than there were in 2020.

"But what you've also got to do is look at technology and the ways you can speed stuff up and make it work better.

"The reason we are here in Milton Keynes today is they have an incredible robotics facility and amazing progress is being made on robotically assisted surgery.

"So, you can speed things up for the patient, it's less intrusive, it's less traumatic, plus you can get more done. That is the focus for the government, coming out of Covid, rebuilding the economy, addressing the big problems and addressing the backlogs."

While 255 patients needing non-emergency care at Milton Keynes University Hospital had waited more than a year to receive treatment following the decision to admit them.

Protesters stormed a vaccination tent and broke into Milton Keynes Theatre in a series of incidents currently being investigated by Thames Valley Police.

Mr Johnson said he didn't want to devote more time or give any further publicity to Covid deniers.

First in addressing news that Julie Marson had received a death threat from a Covid-denier and then directly by commenting further on the people caught on camera damaging property at a vaccination site.

He said: "I hesitate to give anti-vaxxers any more publicity, frankly. The less we hear about them the better, but it's shameful that Julie should receive a death threat from anybody.

"I think that these people are totally wrong-headed and talking mumbo jumbo, and I hesitate to give them any more oxygen than they are already getting.

"And do you know what? It shows what an incredibly scientifically literate country we are. The people of this country have come forward in numbers barely seen anywhere in the world, because they understand the science and the importance of being vaccinated.

"So, rather than bash the people you've mentioned, I want to celebrate what the British people have done."