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NHS pressures - what are the issues?

St Marys/Hammersmith Hospitals 21-12-16
Hospital doctors in discussion

The NHS is in a perilous state. Last year, 2.3 million patients waited over four hours to be seen in A&E in England.

We monitor the latest data reports and provide expert analysis on the worsening trends.

See the pressure points in the NHS

Once seen, nearly half a million people had to wait over four hours on trolleys to be admitted for treatment.

In general practice 20% of patients are waiting more than a week for an appointment, up from 12% five years ago.

The BMA has consistently highlighted the serious impact of the woeful underfunding of the NHS, with rapidly growing demand wholly outstripping capacity.

Behind the facts and figures are real people left suffering, waiting in pain or with untreated symptoms, as well as overworked doctors feeling demoralised because they can't provide the care that patients need.

"2018 can and must be a turning point for the NHS... the NHS is crucial to British society and we must do everything we can to maintain it. The BMA will robustly continue to demand proper funding of the NHS and highlight to the public that lack of resources is compromising doctors’ ability to provide patients with the care that they need."

Read the BMA council chair's blog


What the BMA is doing

Letter to Prime Minister

BMA council chair wrote to the Prime Minister about the unacceptable pressures on the NHS on 18 January 2018.

Read the letter (PDF)


Health and care workforce strategy consultation - BMA response

Our consultation response to the first ever system-wide draft strategy and consultation for health and social care services in England, highlights the immense pressure under which doctors and staff are working in today's NHS.

Read our consultation response


BMA Council and Committees working group

We have established a working group of BMA Council and committee members to consider the issues. This report summarises their recent discussions, which highlights several priorities for what needs to change to address system failures and support doctors.

Read the discussion report



We continue to cover the key issues in our news stories.

Consultants raise safety concerns

Workforce stuck in vicious circle

Winter meltdown: patients robbed of 'privacy and dignity'

BMA survey paints worsening picture of NHS

Competency fears as students drafted in to cope

NHS 'at its limits'

Demand to recognise winter crisis

See all new stories


What is your experience?

We want to hear about your experiences during this challenging time.

What is it like in your place of work? Are you and your colleagues feeling over-worked and demoralised? Do you think there are some clear solutions that could be put in place?

Tell us what you think


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