Moment GMB’s Kate Garraway tears into Health Secretary Steve Barclay in furious clash over social care after her experiences with husband Derek Draper’s health battle
- The ITV host demanded a meeting with a minister to discuss the health system
The presenter, whose husband Derek Draper has had 24/7 treatment at home in his battles with Covid and sepsis in recent years, demanded a meeting with the minister to discuss problems within the health system.
Rishi Sunak‘s Government has come under fire for failing to commit to a previous pledge to deliver social care changes in 2025, while concerns continue to linger over recruitment.
One of the party’s flagship policies was a social care cap, designed to limit the amount anyone will have to pay for care in later life to £86,000, but the Prime Minister has not said how long the promised reform has been postponed for.
Meanwhile, data today reveals how the NHS waiting list in England has hit a new record high, with 7.7 million people – around one in seven – waiting for treatment.
Miss Garraway tried to address the crisis head-on this morning as she explained how she and millions of others up and down the country feel like they are ‘holding the life of their loved one’ in one hand and ‘just punching and punching away at a system’ in the other.
The broadcaster admitted she was holding back tears as she grilled Mr Barclay, who said he was unaware of her attempts to set up a sit-down with him and would be happy to do so.
She said: ‘I don’t want to ambush you on air, but I have been trying to contact you and I have been trying to contact [social care minister] Helen Whately as well and I haven’t been able to.
Good Morning Britain ‘s Kate Garraway tore into Health Secretary Steve Barclay today in a furious clash over social care
The presenter, whose husband Derek Draper has fought for his life during battles with Covid and sepsis in recent years, demanded a meeting with the minister to discuss problems within the health system
Miss Garraway admitted she was holding back tears as she grilled Mr Barclay on the ITV show
‘I have been able to contact your equivalents on the shadow side and I have met with them and talked to them.
‘I’d like to come and talk to you – not about Derek, by the way, this is not trying to get something for him.
‘This is about representing millions of people across the country who, like me every day, in one hand feel like they are holding the life of their loved one and in the other hand – I don’t want to cry – are just punching and punching away at a system.’
She added: ‘It isn’t about money. I’ve got five points, if you or Helen would return some of my attempts to make contact with you, to talk to you about it, because it’s not just about social care but health care and the way it’s inter-relating. It would be wonderful if you could.’
Mr Draper, 56, fell seriously ill with coronavirus at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, and was left with lasting damage to his organs.
Miss Garraway has previously opened up about the realities of life caring for her husband on a daily basis, describing his care as ‘a privilege’.
She told The Sunday Times that she only sleeps for around four hours most nights, and has not taken a day off caring for Mr Draper since he fell ill.
Responding to her on the show, Mr Barclay said: ‘Well, first Kate, it’s the first time I’ve heard of you trying to contact me so that message hadn’t got through to me. I can confirm I would be very happy to meet. We can pick that up after this interview.
‘Of course, we’d be keen to work with you and, more widely, look at ways we can give families much more of a voice within the NHS. I want to give the patient a voice and it would be important for us to meet.’
Miss Garraway, whose book The Strength of Love came out today, had revealed earlier on the show that her husband’s health had again taken a turn.
Miss Garraway said many people were ‘trapped in the web’ of the health system as she revealed her husband, right, was battling an infection
Former political adviser Mr Draper, pictured with Miss Garraway and her parents in June, fell seriously ill with coronavirus at the start of the pandemic in March 2020
The couple in December 2019, three months before Mr Draper contracted Covid
She said on the show this morning: ‘He’s had a nasty infection this week that set him back a bit but we’re on the right side of it, so that’s good.
‘There are so many people in the health system trapped in the web of it. People are not being taken care of in a system that’s in trouble.’
Adding to her comments on This Morning, she broke down in tears as she told Holly Willoughby and Josie Gibson: ‘You feel like you are holding a life in your hands and I’m not sure I’m good enough for that any more.’
Fans praised the star, writing on X: ‘You are an inspiration and you have brought me to tears today.
‘You, Derek and your children have shown extreme strength and courage. You all deserve your happy ending. Thank you so much.’
Miss Garraway has made two documentaries detailing Mr Draper’s battle with the long-term effects of Covid-19. Both won National Television Awards in the authored documentary category.
She was recognised with an MBE in the 2022 New Year Honours for her services to broadcasting, journalism and charity.
Miss Garraway said: ‘I worry that I’m failing on every front, at everything. But I’ve got to keep going and fight on for Derek.’
She also revealed that, on the day of a Good Morning Britain episode last November, she had to go to hospital with chest pain.
The mother of two said: ‘When I went back, they [the doctors] said, “Yeah, we don’t think you’re strong enough to do stressor tests”. Funnily enough… we’ve had enough stressor tests.’
She also said Mr Draper has developed a ‘weird choking’ and his inability to breathe out carbon dioxide or breathe in oxygen ‘is slightly poisoning his body all the time’.
The presenter said her husband becomes ‘very emotional about the strain this has put on me’ but having an illness can ‘strip you of your empathy’.
Kate Garraway broke down in tears while discussing her stricken husband Derek Draper’s Covid battle on Thursday’s This Morning
Kate admitted she ‘doesn’t feel good enough’ to continue caring for her husband
She needed medical assistance of her own after being woken by the 2am alarm she sets each night for Good Morning Britain – and discovering she couldn’t move to turn it off.
In her new book, the presenter describes how she then felt a ‘searing pain’ in her chest and was immediately taken to the nearest A&E for tests.
Addressing her health scare, Miss Garraway said: ‘There was a searing pain in my chest – as though someone had punched their fist through my breastbone, snatched hold of my heart and squeezed.
‘The pain was sharp and excruciating. Then I realised that it wasn’t a sudden onset of pain. It had been there all the time. My temporary paralysis had distracted me.
‘Then came the thought, “Oh God, was I having a heart attack?”. But why was my body reacting like this?
‘Could I be so desperate to help Derek that I’d started having sympathy pains?’
She then threw up on the way to work and was taken to A&E when she arrived at the studios.
After conducting tests, a cardiologist ruled out a heart attack as a possible cause before doctors let her go home.
She also told how she burst into tears when the doctor recognised her and said she was an inspiration, before telling him: ‘I’m not doing any good for anybody.’
Her scare was a one-off issue, but doctors are now keeping an eye on it as it might have been stress-related angina.
Kate revealed she and Prince Charles had got ‘relatively close’ at the Prince’s Trust Awards on March 11 – Charles was diagnosed with coronavirus in mid-March.
She said: ‘Around the 29/30 March, I came home came in and said [to Derek] ‘god you look ill.’
‘He said he had a headache, numbness in his right hand, and was struggling to breathe,
‘I rang Dr Hilary (Jones) and tried to get through, he talked to Derek. He said put me back on, I think you need to call an ambulance’
Derek, 52, was taken into hospital on March 30 and remained in an unresponsive condition.
Kate and her children isolated at home after she displayed ‘mild symptoms’.
Kate said: ‘Derek remains in intensive care and is still very ill. I’m afraid it remains an excruciatingly worrying time.
‘I’m afraid he is still in a deeply critical condition, but he is still here, which means there is hope.’
Kate said: ‘The journey for me and my family seems to be far from over as every day my heart sinks as I learn new and devastating ways this virus has more battles for Derek to fight.
‘But he is still HERE & so there is still hope.’
That month, Kate and her family took part in the final clap for carers
She said: ‘I’ll never give up on that because Derek’s the love of my life but at the same time I have absolute uncertainty’
On June 5, Kate revealed Derek is now free from coronavirus but continues to fight against the damage inflicted on his body
On July 5, Kate revealed Derek has woken from his coma but he remains in a serious yet critical condition.
On July 8, she announced she would be returning to GMB, after being urged by doctors to ‘get on with life’ during Derek’s recovery.
She added that Derek had ‘opened his eyes’ after waking from his coma, but has been told his recovery could take years.
On July 13, Kate returned to GMB for the first time since Derek was hospitalised.
On July 28, Kate revealed she’d paid an ‘extra emotional’ first visit to Derek, and admitted she’s ‘frustrated’ by his slow progress.
On August 14, Kate reassured GMB viewers that Derek was ‘still with us,’ but it was ‘a waiting game.’
On August 19, Kate revealed she celebrated Derek’s birthday with their two children, and described the day as ‘challenging’ for her family.
At the end of September, Derek reportedly becomes the longest surviving patient with coronavirus after spending 184 days in and out of intensive care.
Kate reveals Derek has lost eight stone during his battle.
The presenter announces she is returning to her Smooth Radio show so Derek can hear her voice.
On October 30 Kate reveals that Derek has spoken for the first time in seven months, saying the word ‘pain’ to his wife, who watched on ‘in tears’ over FaceTime.
Kate says a day later that her husband no longer needs a ventilator to breathe.
Kate reveals her family car has been stolen in latest ‘body blow’ to her family life, as kind-hearted fans offer their cars to help.
She says she feels ‘physically sick’ at the prospect of facing her first Christmas without Derek.
The GMB star tells viewers it is her dream to visit Derek on Christmas Day.
She also reveals she missed two weeks on GMB after her children were exposed to the virus, but thankfully she and the kids tested negative.
On December 17, Kate has an emotional conversation live on GMB with two nurses who treated Derek when he was first admitted to Whittington Hospital in North London.
On New Year’s Eve she reflects on a ‘calamitous’ Christmas without Derek, as her house was flooded and she struggled to get a food delivery slot until her pal Emma Willis stepped in to help.
Kate reveals she and her children got to visit Derek in hospital over the Christmas period, and it was the first time her family had seen him since he was hospitalised.
She also says she’s banned from seeing him due to new restrictions introduced during the government’s third lockdown.
Kate reveals she is unsure how much Derek will ‘ever be able to recover’ following warning from doctors that he may never wake from his coma
Kate revealed that was in the process of adapting her home to suit Derek’s needs when he is finally released from hospital, in the ITV documentary Finding Derek.
The programmed was praised by viewers for offering a heartbreaking look at the long-term effects of coronavirus.
Kate also revealed that Derek has ‘no muscle left’ since battling Covid
Kate revealed that Derek was finally allowed to leave hospital, but would require round-the-clock care once he was returned home.
Kate revealed that despite now being home with his family, his communication abilities were ‘minimal’ and he ‘couldn’t really move’
During an appearance on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, Kate revealed that Derek had said ‘I love you’ for the first time.
After celebrating Christmas, Derek was also pictured in a wheelchair during a trip to the pantomime with his family
Kate revealed that Derek was ‘very fatigued’ and ‘very weak’ following the family outing, adding: ‘I don’t know what this year is going to bring.’
Kate offered a glimpse into the daily struggles of looking after her husband amid his battle with long Covid in the documentary Caring For Derek
She also revealed that Derek would die within three days if he was left alone to care for himself.
On July 6, Kate revealed that Derek had been re-admitted to hospital after suffering a ‘downturn,’ and in a later interview said she takes things ‘day by day.’
On July 20, it was reported that Kate had pulled out of hosting Good Morning Britain to be at Derek’s bedside after he took a ‘very serious’ turn for the worse.
Recalling the day, the presenter told The Sun: ‘At one point Derek said to me, “This is it, this time. I am gone.” It was just terrifying.
‘His sepsis was gut-wrenching for all of us because it had gone undiagnosed until the point where it was about to take his life away again.’
She then became tearful and looked up as she spoke about Derek, who has been unwell for approaching three years.
Describing public anger towards him, Kate added of his decision: ‘This gives the impression you still don’t get why they are cross. You still don’t get why people are upset. They want to hold you to more account.’
Kate revealed that Derek was once again receiving care in hospital, as she shared the emotional moment Sir Elton John dedicated a song to the ‘inspiring’ couple.
She shared the emotional moment Sir Elton John dedicated a song to the ‘inspiring’ couple, writing on Instagram: ‘Yes Derek has been back in hospital this week & yes there’s such a long road ahead but #eltonjohn & @davidfurnish you gave the kids & Derek a moment that we will never forget and has lifted their spirits again to feel anything is possible.’
It was also reported that Kate was planning a trip across the world for pioneering treatment in a ‘final hope’ to help her husband.
Not Kate is reportedly facing a huge £716,000 tax bill after she was forced to close her husband’s business two years after he became stricken with Covid-19.
The final total will be settled within the coming weeks, with friends insisting she will pay whatever is owed.
A friend told The Sun: ‘The figures are terrifying and Kate is of course worried about all the financial pressures, but she has to trust the process.
‘When it comes to an end, she is determined to pay back anything that’s owed.
‘It’s no secret that Kate has been battling to keep her husband alive and working through some heartbreaking situations in her personal life in recent years.
‘Sadly as well as the emotional stress of Derek’s terrible illnesses the financial burden has also been crippling.’