Boy, 4 forced to sleep on the floor due to lack of hospital beds

Jack Williment-Barr forced to sleep on floor because no beds were available

A four-year-old boy with suspected pneumonia was forced to sleep on a hospital treatment room floor due to the lack of beds.

Jack Williment-Barr was photographed lying on a pile of coats and with an oxygen mask at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) on 3 December.

Jack was taken to his GP last Tuesday, with vomiting, diarrhoea, coughing and a fever. He had been ill for six days with what the GP had thought was a virus, but as he had not improved he was taken by ambulance to the accident and emergency unit of LGI.

His mother, Sarah, told The Daily Mirror that seeing the NHS crisis meant she would vote Labour however, asked politicians not to use her son’s treatment to make arguments about the NHS in the final few days of general election campaigning.

A photograph of Jack, who was waiting for treatment for suspected pneumonia at Leeds General Infirmary, was first published by the Daily Mirror and circulated on social media. The hospital apologised and said it had had its busiest week since 2016.

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said that the experience of four-year-old Jack having to lie on a hospital floor while he waited for a bed is a political issue.

Mr Corbyn added that funding of the NHS was a serious political issue and that it needed to be a political decision about whether the country has the NHS , how it will be funded, and what political parties decide they’re going to do with it if they gain a majority in the next parliament.

Labour has promised to spend £26bn by 2024 on the NHS, while The Conservative pledged £34bn per year (in cash terms; £20.5bn a year in real terms), by the end of the Parliamentary term.

The row over Jack’s treatment has become a central part of the campaign before Thursday’s vote, with Boris Johnson being criticised for repeatedly refusing to look at a photograph of Jack that he was shown by a journalist on his phone during an interview on Monday. Mr Johnson also refused to explain why he confiscated the reporter’s phone during the interview and put it in his suit pocket.

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