Responding to the news that the Welsh Government will introduce a fire break lockdown, Dr David Bailey, BMA Cymru Wales council chair, said:
“BMA Cymru Wales welcomes the decision to introduce a fire break lockdown in Wales. With the worrying increase in infections showing no signs of slowing, it is necessary that more stringent lockdown measures are put in place to protect the Welsh NHS and to save lives.
“Bringing in stronger restrictions in Wales at this point is essential – the surge in cases alongside the pressure that the winter season will inevitably bring and the huge backlog of patients already in the system is quite frankly an overwhelming prospect. Our members are deeply concerned about the ability of the service to cope. We hope the fire break will stop the exponential rise and keep cases at a level where the NHS can cope, whilst also providing a small amount of relief to the staff who are fighting this virus on the frontline.
“The key to defeating this virus is clear and robust preventative measures, so the fire break must be accompanied by a longer-term national prevention strategy. As part of that strategy, BMA Cymru Wales is calling on the Welsh Government to focus on:
- continued priority testing for symptomatic NHS staff and further consideration of regular asymptomatic testing for NHS staff;
- clear and consistent communication with the public on what they need to do to stop the spread, this must include clear public messaging that the NHS must be protected if elective work is to be delivered alongside caring for the influx of coronavirus patients;
- tackling in-hospital spread of the virus;
- keeping schools open where possible to avoid long-term effects on children’s mental health and well-being;
- childcare support for frontline key workers who are putting their lives on the line to care for patients;
- reducing bureaucracy and improving IT;
- fair remuneration for additional hours worked.
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.