Responding to new winter figures published today by NHS England, which show an increase in bed occupancy rates and ambulance delays, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said:
“These figures paint a clear picture of just how congested and overstretched the system is, and is further evidence that pressure on the NHS continues to intensify.
“The winter months have always have been more of a challenge for the NHS, but in recent years the pressure on staff and services has reached new levels with patients unfairly bearing the brunt of long waiting times and cancellations.
“We urgently need more long-term planning to ensure the NHS can meet rising demand on services and has the capacity to deal with the inevitable spike in demand each winter. Funding is a critical part of this, given that the NHS receives about £10billion less annually compared to other leading EU countries. This is why we are calling on the government to plug this funding deficit, with investment that would deliver the extra beds, staff and services which are badly needed.”
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 new NHS England figures published today can be can be viewed here.
- The BMA is calling on the UK government to match or exceed the average spend of other comparable European countries on health and social care. This is an area where the UK has been falling short and has been spending less on health as a proportion of GDP than the average of the 10 leading European countries. You can read more about this here.