Responding to a report1 by the NHS Confederation which calls for extra investment and support for frontline services if the NHS is to be sustainable following the pandemic, BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said:
“With an alarming rise in Covid-19 cases, patients lacking the urgent care they need as we face an enormous backlog, and the demands of the winter months imminent, the NHS must be pulled out of this hole, urgently.
“The funding announced by the Government before Covid-19 was inadequate and, with NHS estate in bad need of modernisation, gaps in the workforce and record waiting times, we were in an extremely vulnerable position entering the pandemic.
“As this report rightly highlights, we need to see ambitious action and proper resourcing and investment – beyond what has been promised. Doctors have repeatedly warned1 us in recent months that they are concerned about the NHS’ ability to cope with the backlog with a recent survey2 exposing their fears over a second peak. It is therefore vital the NHS can remain steadfast in the challenging months and years ahead and has the capacity to cope with Covid and non-Covid patients, without creating more backlog.
“Having a robust, integrated health service is absolutely crucial in the fight against the pandemic and the long-term sustainability of our NHS. As such, we need to see significant investment, not just in the NHS and frontline care, but in public health, social care and digital infrastructure, to ensure the resilience and longevity of services.
“Our health service is nothing without its staff. All that can be done must be done to support and retain them. Investing in long-term growth and addressing existing workforce gaps must be a priority to alleviate the pressure and stress on those already working in the NHS and ensure we have enough staff to see us into the future.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a 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.
- NHS Confed report.
- BMA survey highlighting doctors’ concerns over tackling the backlog.
- BMA survey revealing that doctors’ greatest gear is second peak.
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