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NHS breaking point - pressures on NHS

Taking blood pressure

Politicians must address the pressures across the healthcare system that prevent the delivery of high-quality, safe care

The BMA calls on all political parties to:

  • invest in the medical workforce over the long term by creating a supportive working environment, with fair terms and conditions, to attract and keep the doctors we need to deliver the safe and effective care which patients expect

  • prioritise high-quality training and education at every stage of a medical career

  • agree and implement a long-term solution to the funding, capacity and staffing challenges overwhelming the health and social care systems

  • stop the routine breach of safe levels of bed occupancy and work with local government to reduce the impact of pressures in social care

  • ensure Sustainability and Transformation Plans in England - which have become a vehicle for delivering cuts - are instead realistic, evidence-based and properly funded, with patient care as the priority, and undergo full consultation with clinicians, patients and the public before changes are finalised.

Poor workforce planning over a number of years has resulted in the NHS facing huge recruitment and retention problems. There are chronic staff shortages and rota gaps across the NHS, with major recruitment problems in certain specialities including general practice and emergency medicine.

Download the BMA manifesto briefing on NHS pressures

Read the 2016/17 NHS Pressures data analysis


More information

Read more about NHS pressures

Read more about the NHS at breaking point


BMA manifesto - A vote for health

Read our general election 2017 BMA manifesto.

Download the BMA manifesto