Responding to the announcement today that the NHS in England will move to alert level 4, BMA consultants committee chair Dr Rob Harwood said:
“The move to alert level 4 for NHS England highlights the severity of the situation that our health service now faces as, yet again, the NHS is on the verge of being overwhelmed.
“It is very concerning that, at even this early stage of winter, we are already seeing a replication of the extreme pressure that the NHS and its staff experienced during the first wave.
“Failure to address shortages of beds and staff over time mean the NHS is now a poor position going into the winter, and we can expect to see further serious disruption to routine care, increasing the already very large backlog that has built up since the pandemic began. The impact of this will be incredibly destructive, with potentially serious consequences for patients as many will face even longer waits to receive care.
“Every day healthcare workers go above and beyond to keep services running and minimise disruption with the limited resources they have. It is now vitally important that the public follows the national lockdown guidance to minimise placing even further pressure on services.
“The Government must do all it can to deliver urgent resources – particularly beds and staff – to support the frontline.”
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.