Responding to the £5bn emergency response fund to support the NHS during the COVID-19 response announced during today’s Budget, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said:
“The Chancellor has said that whatever resources the NHS needs to cope with COVID-19, it will get, and it is vital, for the sake of the nation’s health, that he keeps this promise. Whether this means millions or billions of pounds, this offer must come with no limits or catches.
“How, and more importantly, when, this money is spent will be crucial in how well the NHS copes. Therefore, the Government must listen to frontline clinicians, who are in the best possible position to advise. It must be spent where it’s needed most – whether this means extra bed capacity in hospitals, more equipment and support in GP practices, further resources for testing, or systems to ensure frontline staff are protected, including the technology for remote consultations in what are likely to be exceptional circumstances.
“We know that the NHS is vastly understaffed, and short-term rescue measures won’t remedy this immediately. You cannot simply buy doctors and nurses, nor can we rely only on the goodwill of our dedicated NHS staff, who are already working incredibly hard in a health service is under severe strain. For patients to be able to have the best care possible, the NHS must support its staff to provide that care as well as paying for more equipment and facilities.”
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.
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