Responding to a speech by the Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt at the NHS Confederation annual conference today, Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chair, said:
“Jeremy Hunt was quick to say that the NHS is 'doing magnificently well' today, but with politicians consistently missing their own targets, hospitals in the red and GPs unable to keep up with the number of patients coming through the door there is no doubt that our health service is at breaking point.
“The secretary of state praised the “financial discipline” which has helped to reduce trust deficits, claiming that this will now allow more money to be spent directly on services, but there is a complete mismatch between this and the reality on the ground. The deficit is still a mountainous £800m and many NHS trusts are struggling to deliver basic care to patients in a climate of rising patient demand and declining resources. Neither the Conservative manifesto nor the secretary of state promised enough money to fill the black hole in the finances, and outside the conference halls patients wait longer and can access fewer services.
“With Brexit negotiations starting in a matter of days, we welcome the health secretary’s promise that certainty for EU nationals in the health and social care system is one of his top priorities. However, when more than one in four EU doctors working in the UK are considering leaving following the EU referendum, they urgently need actual certainty instead of more promises.
“The government must ensure that NHS funding keeps pace with other European nations, that EU doctors in the UK are protected from the impact of Brexit, that general practice is properly supported, that policies which protect and enhance the public’s health are implemented and that the pressures which affect the day-to-day delivery of high quality patient care are tackled.”
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