Responding to the announcement that the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham is going to cancel all planned procedures to cope with a rise in ‘very sick’ patients, BMA West Midlands regional council chair Dr Stephen Millar said:
“This decision to postpone planned procedures at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham is a clear indication of the extreme pressure facing the health service here; pressure likely to be replicated at many trusts across the country as we head into the winter months.
“It is incredibly concerning, that a hospital of this size is having to adopt such drastic measures at this very early stage of winter.
“These patients, many of whom will have already experienced a significant increase in waits for treatment and operations during the pandemic, will undoubtedly be incredibly anxious as they face more destructive and potentially life-threatening delays.
“It is crucial that those in need of urgent care are not deterred from seeking this and that those patients most in need of life-saving procedures are being prioritised.
“Failure to address shortages of beds and staff has left the NHS in a dire position as it enters these busy months ahead and the consequence is this enormous disruption to care which we are seeing.
“Despite claims from NHS leaders earlier this week that lockdown should mean that we do not face mass cancellations, hospitals are clearly already at this tipping point. The Government must be forthcoming and deliver urgent resources to ensure that hospitals can cope in the coming months and resume care as quickly as possible.
“This is also crucially important for the staff who have already been going above and beyond to deliver care for patients in these exceptional circumstances as they will need all the support they can get.”
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.
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