Commenting on the appointment of Sajid Javid MP as Secretary of State for Health, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA chair of council, said:
"Sajid Javid has a huge and urgent task ahead. He must ensure completing the roll-out of the adult vaccination programme at rapid pace to control spiralling infection rates. He must also put forward a credible plan to tackle a backlog of care of unprecedented scale whilst at the same time rebuilding the trust of doctors and the wider healthcare workforce.
"Frontline doctors and other staff have gone above and beyond time and time again over the course of the last 18 months, with many suffering from burnout and mental ill health as a result. The new Secretary of State must show he understands this challenge and must also be willing to listen to the voice of the frontline on the government's plans for sweeping changes in the running of the NHS in the upcoming Health and Care Bill.
"It is imperative that doctors are able to take leave, rest and regroup before tackling the biggest waiting list the NHS has ever seen. And we would urge Mr Javid to think again about the Government’s 1% pay proposal which, on top of punitive pension changes, risks driving a generation of senior, experienced doctors into early retirement.
"Sajid Javid must now show that the Government understands the value of frontline healthcare workers and their critical role in the future of our NHS. We look forward to meeting Mr Javid as soon as possible."
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.