We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he was

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We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he was
We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he was

Just FIVE Brits out of 50 were able to recognise a picture of Tory Health Secretary Steve Barclay - who has gone into hiding this week while the NHS crisis deepens.

Despite repeated warnings the NHS is near collapse, the Health Secretary has been nowhere to be seen and just 10 percent of people asked in a snap poll knew his name or recognised his picture.

The Mirror showed a photograph of Barclay to people on the streets of Liverpool and Croydon in London, simply asking "do you know who this man is?".

Of the 50 asked, 90 per cent were unable to answer, with only five people in total able to identify him as the man responsible for our NHS.

We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he was rridzziquridttinvThe Mirror’s Hollie Bone shows people pictures of Health Secretary Steve Barclay, in Liverpool city centre (Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

When we revealed the answer, we were met with responses ranging from "is he new?" to "he needs a slap".

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It comes after Barclay has been accused of passing the buck over the deadly crisis gripping the NHS.

The Health Secretary blamed the crippling crisis on Covid, the flu and Strep A, despite a decade of Tory ­underfunding.

Unison union said: “Years of neglect are to blame.”

We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he wasStephen Barclay has been accused of passing the buck over the deadly crisis gripping the NHS (Thomas Krych/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)

Health chiefs warn patients will be at risk until the Government urgently tackles NHS demand and an exodus of fed-up staff.

The Mirror spoke to people in Liverpool and Croydon High Street in London about the ongoing NHS crisis and how the government is handling it

Carol Rice, 62, retired care worker from Liverpool

Carol said: "I had no idea who it was, but he needs a slap. His excuses about Covid don't wash with me, we call them plonkers here.

"You go into hospital now and it's just pensioners laid up in trolleys on corridors waiting for help.

We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he wasCarol Rice speaking about Health Secretary Steve Barclay and problems in the NHS (Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

"The staff aren't getting paid enough and I think they should have gone on strike sooner. When we had Covid nurses were crying with stress.

"The government said they were putting money into the NHS but they were just putting it into their own pockets."

Hazel Clayton, 73, retired teacher from Halifax, West Yorkshire

Hazel said: "We have said to each other 'don't get ill' and we are going down that route.

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"We are in our 70s and it's scary quite honestly because we are going to be needing it in years to come.

"It seems to be imploding and I feel sorry for the doctors and the nurses trying to hold it together.

We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he wasHazel Clayton says the NHS 'seems to be imploding' (Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

"It's been obvious that the NHS has been going down this route for a long number of years and I do think it's partly the way it's been managed.

"OK covid has had a knock on effect but they should have had contingencies in place for it."

Roman Brag, 56, church minister from Liverpool

Roman said: "He needs to do his job, and he needs to be accountable.

"We can't use the excuse about Covid anymore, right now you can't get a dentist, you can't get a doctor, it should be called the 'no help service'.

We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he wasRoman Brag speaking about Health Secretary Steve Barclay (Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

"By the time the kids have grown up there won't be a national health service, it will have all been privatised.

"The doctors and nurses are dedicated, hard working and trying their best, but it's the political clowns that are tying their hands and stopping them doing their jobs."

George O'Connell, 20, physics student from Liverpool

George said: "I'm not surprised no one recognises him, he's another Tory minister in the job for a couple of weeks and probably won't be for much longer.

"There's far too many Tory ministers to keep track of these days.

We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he wasGeorge said he 'wasn't surprised' nobody had heard of Barclay (Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

"You've had 13 years of a massive slash in real terms per person funding in the NHS and you can see the dire consequences of that.

"In terms of where to point the blame I think ultimately you have a system that regards health care, not as a human right, as it should be, it's up to the whims of a system which is increasingly unwilling and unable to provide an adequate level of healthcare, especially for the poorest sections of society."

Maxine Vasman, 57, NHS assistant service manager

Maxine said: "It just goes to show that given the crisis in the NHS at the moment and how invisible he is to people. He should be reassuring them about what they're doing in Government to help.

"They're not doing anything we know that, but that's why nobody knows who he is. I only know because I work in the NHS.

We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he wasMaxine Vasman (L) and Debbie Monaghan (R) speak about Health Secretary Steve Barclay and problems in the NHS (Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

"We've got patients hanging out of the rafters for 14/15 hours, waiting to get onto a ward. People are coming to A&E as a last stop because they can't get GP or other appointments.

"As a society we need to do better to help the NHS but the book stops with the government. It's absolutely not a backlog from Covid, Strep A or flu because it was like that before that, I've worked in the NHS for 10 years.

"It's starved of the right funding, you can only put a plaster on things for so long."

Grace Okolo, 25, NHS healthcare assistant from Liverpool

Grace said: "He is familiar but I don't know his name. Covid happened very fast but I don't think we can totally blame the issues in the NHS on Covid.

We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he wasGrace Okolo said the health secretary was 'familiar' but couldn't name him (Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

"But honestly I think the people in government are trying their best. Compared to some of the other countries the quality of care that they give is impressive so I have to give them some credit there.

"I work in Aintree Hospital and just yesterday a patient had to be in a bed in the middle of the ward because there were no bays available. It's a tough job to do, we are short staffed."

Breenu Bavithran, 27, NHS staff nurse from Liverpool

Breenu said: "I'm shocked that no one recognises him, he is meant to be responsible for the health service and the government needs to take responsibility for it.

We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he wasBreenu Bavithran said Barclay needs to step up and 'take responsibility' (Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

At first we thought the NHS was great but the state of the NHS is crazy right now. We have just been through a strike and we are in a dispute about pay, it's very difficult nowadays. The job can be heartbreaking at times because the staff are under such pressure and the patients need better help."

Paul Eaton, 60, butcher, from Doncaster

We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he wasPaul Eaton said Covid was not the main reason for problems facing the NHS (Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

Paul said: "He's been on telly a lot lately, I don't think it's right to blame him personally because there's a lot of people behind him.

"But I dont think Covid is the main reason we're in this position, it's just something else to blame and a way out for them."

Nicola Evans, 43, a HR admin from Liverpool

Nicola said: "I think the state of the NHS is disgusting and it's all down to the government.

"They should pay the staff the wages they deserve and stop hiding from the crisis.

"It makes me worry about the future for my kids and when I look at the picture and realise who Steve Barclay is, I just feel angry."

The Mirror also spoke to people in Croydon High Street about the ongoing NHS crisis and how the government is handling it.

Joseph Matthew

Joseph Matthew, 39, said: “Right now it’s terrible and needs to get better quickly.”

We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he wasThe Mirror's Serena Richards with Joseph Matthew (Humphrey Nemar/ dailty mirror)

Emilia Abbiw, 40

Emilia said: “Keeping people healthy is the most important thing. A healthy environment, a healthy country, and healthy community is necessary to help the NHS grow. It should be his priority to make sure what needs to be done should be done.”

Ryan Wrench, 20

Ryan spoke directly to Mr Barclay saying: “Steve, you need to do a better job."

We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he wasRyan Wrench, 20, said the NHS needs to step up and do better (Humphrey Nemar/ dailty mirror)

He added: "I get the government are trying to do the best but it’s never enough. They can always do something more to improve and they need to.

“We see other countries that are doing well, so why can’t we? My grandad, who is American, had a miniature stroke and within five minutes the ambulance was at his house.

We showed 50 Brits a pic of NHS scourge Steve Barclay - only 5 knew who he wasChianne Uden, 19, said she had a 'horrible' experience in A&E (Humphrey Nemar/ dailty mirror)

“But when my grandad over here had a stroke we were waiting an hour to an hour and a half for them to arrive, so a lot more needs to be done.

“Steve is not doing enough. People like him need to hear this and what we’re experiencing."

Chianne Uden, 19

Chianne said, “I was in A&E recently and it was horrible. If I saw him I would say he needs to do better.”

Hollie Bone

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