Norman Lamb, the former Liberal Democrat Health minister, has responded after West Kent banned all non-urgent operations until April.
“Patients who are in severe pain should not have to wait for a new financial year to have an operation. This is not what our NHS is about. What we need instead is a new financial plan from the government to deliver the funding the health service needs.
“This is the longest ban in NHS history on patients undergoing surgery to relieve pain.
“There is a major crisis in funding. This is why I led a cross-party delegation to see Mrs May this week to try to get a cross-party process under way. The NHS is too important to use as a political football."
“The Liberal Democrats will be straight with the British public. We should consider raising taxes to give the public the NHS and care services they are right to expect.”