BMA responds to NHS winter pressures figures

By agency reporter
January 12, 2018

Responding to new A&E and situation report (SitRep) figures published by NHS England, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said, “Doctors will be horrified but not surprised by these figures. Behind each statistic is a patient waiting longer for care, often in distress, and doctors working under impossible conditions, exhausted and frustrated that they can’t provide the compassionate and quality care they want to for their patients.

“Hospitals exist to treat the ill, to make people better, and yet doctors are reporting that patients are dying in hospital corridors and hospital leaders are warning of a watershed moment for the NHS. These echo concerns we’ve had from our members across the country and the government must now take action.

“Despite the current pressures, I believe our health service is one of the best in the world, but with funding lagging behind that of other comparable European countries we urgently need politicians of all parties to come together and agree a long-term funding plan for the NHS. Failing to do so will leave the NHS lurching from one crisis to the next and will undermine the delivery of safe, high quality and timely patient care.”

Emergency admissions reached a historic monthly high, A&E waiting times for December 2017 are the worst ever recorded, and the number of A&Es that were forced to divert patients to ease pressure reached a new high for this winter. The number of patients waiting on trolleys during 2017 alone was more than were recorded in the whole of 2012, 2013 and 2014 combined.

The BMA is calling on the UK government to match or exceed the average spend of other comparable European countries on health and social care. This is an area where the UK has been falling short and has been spending less on health as a proportion of GDP than the average of the 10 leading European countries.

A&E figures for December 2017 can be found here

NHS England’s weekly SitReps data can be found here

* BMA https://www.bma.org.uk/

[Ekk/6]

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