Street’ talking: Winter is coming

By June 19, 2024Public

Wes Streeting, the Shadow Secretary for Health and Social Care

There has been extensive coverage across national and specialist media of our exclusive event with Wes Streeting — much of it focused on the inevitable crisis in care which has become a hardy perennial of the winter news cycle.

The Shadow Secretary for Health and Social Care shared his vision for the health service, before facing a barrage of questions from  members of the Medical Journalists’ Association and invited guests, led by Sunday Times health editor and MJA Chair, Shaun Lintern

MJA question time with Wes Streeting. Picture MHP Group

‘NHS to buy social care beds’, ‘NHS still faces winter crisis’ and ‘GPs will do well under Labour’ feature in the raft of articles by health journalists after the invitation-only Q&A event at the Royal Society of Medicine on Monday evening.


The Guardian‘s health policy editor Dennis Campbell, Telegraph health editor Laura Donnelly, one of two pieces in The Independent, and the Press Association and Daily Mail were among those who focused on NHS plans for tacking delayed discharges by funding social care places in partnership with local authorities and care providers.

Nursing in Practice led on Mr Streeting’s comments that social care should be regarded as a profession as well as measures to stabilise the workforce.

While Rebecca Thomas, health correspondent at the Independent, wrote that the NHS winter crisis and “abysmal” corridor care won’t be fixed immediately under a Labour government, quoting Streeting’s warning that a Labour government can’t wave a magic wand, but he is committed to long-term solutions.

Anna Colivicchi from Pulse. Picture MHP Group

Anna Colivicchi from GP news platform Pulse reported his remarks that general practice would do well under a Labour government and should get a greater proportion of the NHS budget — but pointed out this is not specifically promised in the manifesto. The BMJ also highlighted this pledge, with Sally Howard’s report headlined, ‘Repairing general practice will be a priority for Labour, says Streeting’.

Life sciences

Writing for the Pharmaceutical Journal, Emma Wilkinson focused on comments around the life sciences industry, reporting that  Streeting wants the UK to be a “stronger destination” for pharmaceutical manufacturers.

While proving the adage that a busy freelance is a happy freelance, Emma also covered the event for, writing that a failure of leadership to listen to doctors’ concerns about physician associates has allowed the debate about their role in the NHS to become “toxic”.

Natasha Loder, The Economist: Picture MHP Group

The event has also led to much discussion on social media including a Twitter/X thread from The Economist health editor Natasha Loder on her question on whether there would be more transparency and access for journalists trying to get interviews with NHS leaders.

Natasha’s question was warmly welcomed on the night, and seemed to surprise the Shadow Secretary, as MJA vice chair Emma Wilkinson commented on X.

MHP Group, who supported the event also shared footage on X, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists commented on his pledge to reduce overcrowding, MJA vice chair Jane Symons welcomed his comment, over post-meeting drinks, that the Cass Review would be implemented “in full” and  Madeleine Anderson from Nursing in Practice joined the thanks to Shaun Lintern for chairing the event.

Scrutiny and selfies

Streeting chats with MJA members. Picture MHP Group

The Shadow Health Secretary also earned respect for staying on for drinks and more scrutiny — as well as selfies.

In an era of so many stage-managed media encounters, it was refreshing, and encouraging, to see a senior politician willing to chat so freely with journalists.

With huge thanks to MJA Chair Shaun Lintern, for making it possible, and the team at MHP Group who supported the event. We hope it will be the first of many.

Benefits of joining or partnering with the MJA

The MJA is the largest membership organisation for health and medical journalists in the UK. If you’re a journalist covering health and medicine, write about the sector for a charity, university or other non-commercial organisation, or you are a student with an interest in covering health, click here for more information on eligibility, the benefits of joining and how to apply to join.

Click here if you like to hear more about partnership opportunities and how to sponsor a prize at the prestigious MJA Awards — the Oscars of health and medical journalism — or email us at



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