Doctor Tells James O'Brien: Patients Can't Afford Trip To Food Banks

12 February 2019, 11:59 | Updated: 12 February 2019, 12:20

A heartbroken doctor has told James O'Brien that some of his patients are so poor, they can't even afford the bus fare to get to the food bank.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said yesterday that the increased use of food banks is partly down to problems in rolling out universal credit.

James O'Brien was discussing how universal credit has affected poor people in the UK and that's when he got a call from James in Manchester.

He told LBC: "I'm a hospital doctor and I get patients coming in all the time who are asking me for help. They can't work because of their medical condition - they have come to me for that.

"They can't afford they money to get themselves to a food bank. They can't afford the transport fare, be it the bus or whatever.

"They also can't get the money to get the transport to come to their medical appointments to see us for us to try to help them.

James O'Brien in the LBC studio
James O'Brien in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

"I will be sat there for 45 minutes in a 10-minute appointment trying to help them. We don't know what to do.

"If they can't afford to come to our appointments, we discharge them from our clinic and then that delays they getting back to work."

James was shocked by what he heard, responding: "You're talking about a person who can't scrape together a tram fare to get to a food bank.

"That's 19th-century."

Listen to the full call at the top of the page.