BMA responds to Shadow Health Secretary's comments about patient standards in the NHS

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Published: Sunday 11 December 2022

Responding to comments made by Shadow Health Secretary, Wes Streeting, about patient standards in today's Sunday Telegraph, Dr Emma Runswick, deputy chair of council at the BMA, said:

“Doctors desperately want to see improvements in our NHS. The sad reality is that the whole NHS is in crisis and this results not only in poor provision for patients, but also incredibly difficult conditions for those of us delivering this care. 

"The anger for that crisis should be directed squarely at the Government and their failure to invest, not at those who work in the NHS or the unions who represent them. It’s incredibly disappointing that Mr Streeting has chosen to attack us in this way.

“It wasn’t so long ago that Mr Streeting and the Labour Party were clapping healthcare workers for their contributions during the pandemic, so to hear them now accusing staff of a ‘something for nothing’ culture and potentially supporting further real terms pay cuts will leave many staff extremely concerned. 

“The BMA has repeatedly said that a strong workforce goes hand-in-hand with patient standards and that investment in the workforce is the only way to improve our NHS. We very much hope Mr Streeting will focus his attention on challenging this Government on ensuring that they will offer strong support to the doctors, nurses and other NHS workers who are now suffering unprecedented levels of exhaustion and burnout.”


Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union 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.