NHS stats show huge impact of Covid-19 on patient care as resources needed for demand surge, warns BMA

by BMA media team Press release from BMA media team
Location: England
Published: Thursday 14 May 2020

Responding to the latest NHS performance statistics, which shows a large drop in A&E attendance and admissions and a rise in waits for consultant referrals to elective care, BMA emergency medicine lead and consultants committee deputy chair Dr Simon Walsh said:

“As today’s figures show, we are seeing a substantial drop in the numbers of patients coming to Emergency Departments – the impact of Covid-19 on people seeking care couldn’t be clearer.

“Whilst many healthcare staff continue to deal with the pandemic and people play their part in helping reduce the spread of infection, doctors are clear that the emergency care system remains in place and those who do genuinely need emergency care must come forward.

“In a recent BMA survey, four in ten doctors said the long-term impact on patient clinical demand was their greatest worry. Today’s figures illustrate those fears all too well, with longer waits for patients being referred by consultants for elective care.

“There will be many patients understandably distressed at not knowing when they will get the treatment they need, so getting care and treatment to those patients who badly need it at this time must be an absolute priority going forward.

“GPs and hospitals must be given the resources they need to cope with what will undoubtedly be a surge in demand for routine care in the weeks and months ahead.”

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.

1. See latest NHS performance stats here.

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