Responding to the news that over four in 10 hospitals in England declared a major alert in the first week of the year as they encountered unprecedented pressures, Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chair, said:
“It is extremely concerning that this many trusts in one week raised the alarm to say they can’t cope, and it shows the scale of the crisis in our NHS at the moment.
“It’s astonishing that, following a week in which alerts were six times higher than the last, the government has chosen to play down the pressure that services are under. This is shameful. With each day that minsters continue to ignore this crisis more and more patients are left suffering the consequences.
“Our hospitals are in the red, GPs are unable to keep up with the number of patients coming through the surgery door, patients are suffering and staff are working under impossible conditions. We urgently need the government to act now and put together a long term plan to help solve the ever growing issues around staffing and funding the health and social care system as a whole.”
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.
- The BMA’s briefing paper on NHS winter pressures is available here.