Responding to NHS improvement’s quarterly performance figures for the NHS provider sector, Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chair, said:
“While these figures show some movement towards reducing the sizeable deficit facing trusts, the NHS remains under enormous pressure, with a majority of trusts still in the red.
“Emergency department figures in particular are a general measure of how the acute health service is functioning. The figures in this report show increasing numbers of patients not being seen within the government’s four-hour target, a clear demonstration of how resource restriction impacts directly on patient care.
“With services struggling to keep up with demand, waiting times too high and a shortage of staff and resource, we desperately need a plan to put the NHS on a sustainable, long-term footing. The NHS is already the most efficient health service in the world - further efficiency savings alone simply will not be enough to plug the gap.
“The concern for patients, the public and NHS staff is that the government doesn’t have an answer to the £30bn funding shortfall in the health service. This is especially worrying in light of reports that the NHS may not receive much needed additional funding in next week’s autumn statement.”
Notes to editors
The British Medical Association (BMA) is the voice of doctors and medical students in the UK. It is an apolitical professional organisation and independent trade union, representing doctors and medical students from all branches of medicine across the UK and supporting them to deliver the highest standards of care.