Chancellor’s pledge of £5.9bn to tackle backlog must be matched by a workforce to deliver, says BMA

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Last reviewed: 25 October 2021

Responding to news that the Chancellor’s Budget will include £5.9bn capital funding to help the NHS tackle the growing backlog of care, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said: 

“Today’s announcement is promising news ahead of Wednesday’s Budget, but it’s still only on paper, and clarity is needed about how exactly this money will be spent in addressing the ever-growing backlog of care. 

“Whilst it is positive that bed capacity and extra equipment have been accounted for in today’s announcement, plus funding set to be invested in IT, it’s essential that all of this is complemented by a workforce to match, and further detail is urgently needed on this. 

“There are acute workforce shortages in the NHS, with 93,000 vacancies across the health service. The BMA estimates that England would need an additional 50,000 FTE doctors simply to sit on equivalent standing with OECD EU nations today. The promise of delivering millions more checks, scans, and procedures as part of tackling the backlog will require trained staff, and this must be addressed on Wednesday if this funding is going to have any impact on patient care.”


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.