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Senior Welsh GP decries impossible pressure placed on staff during winter months

A senior Welsh GP has told the annual meeting of doctors that “increasing” winter pressures is leading to “impossible pressures” being placed on staff and risks “unsafe care for patients.”

Speaking at the BMA’s annual representative meeting in Brighton, Dr Om Aggarwal, a GP based in Cardiff and a member of the BMA’s Welsh GP’s committee told delegates that:

“The winter crisis in the NHS has been a recurring scenario for the past 20 years. It’s getting worse and worse every year and is leaving no slack in the system.

“When there is no slack in the system winter pressures can bring the NHS to its knees, placing impossible pressure on NHS staff, primary care and risks unsafe care for patients.”

Dr Aggarwal’s motion calls for the NHS to be fully resourced to meet the increasing demands. Last winter, Health Boards in Wales used hospital office staff with no clinical expertise to help alleviate the pressure the Welsh NHS faced and the Welsh Government suspended QOF payments to help GP practices cope with winter pressures.

Referring to the apologies and extra funding provided by the 4 UK Governments to release some of the pressure Dr Aggarwal said:

“Another sticking plaster over the haemorrhage will not do dear politicians. It is high time you listened and acted to fully resource the NHS before it collapses.”


Notes to editors:

The motion was debated between 11:00-1150am on Monday 25 June at the BMA’s annual representative meeting at the Brighton Centre. 

In January 2018 the Welsh Government suspended QOF (quality and outcomes framework) element of GP contracts and £10m in additional funding to relieve winter pressures. 

The motion in full is:

COUNCIL): That this meeting believes that the NHS should be fully resourced to meet
the increasing demands facing it and:-
i) that privacy and patient safety is now being compromised to unacceptable levels;
ii) finds it abhorrent that patients are being assessed and treated in hospital corridors
due to lack of acute beds;
iii) that the system is not providing doctors with the resources to fulfil their
professional duty of care;
iv) is concerned about the difficulties and pressures doctors face daily;
v) that the NHS is no longer a safe place for patients or staff;
vi) calls upon the BMA to promote wider public awareness about the impact of unsafe
working conditions;
vii) demands that the government develop a policy to adequately fund health and
social care delivery that will prevent the destruction of our NHS.


For further information please contact:

BMA Cymru Wales, Fifth floor, 2 Caspian Point, Caspian Way, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF10 4DQ
Telephone: 029 2047 4626
Mobile: 07500 765994
Email: Carla Murphy (cmurp[email protected])