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NHS is in desperate need of a lifeline says BMA responding to latest NHS performance figures

Responding to the latest NHS performance figures which reveal that waiting lists for treatment referrals are at the highest level on record and there is a sharp rise in operation cancellations and 12-hour trolley waits comparative to last year, BMA consultants committee chair Dr Rob Harwood, said:

“Today’s figures show the continuing rapid deterioration of performance levels within the health service, as despite being the middle of summer, the NHS is experiencing pressures reminiscent of the worst winters.

“The situation for patients is extremely concerning with over 4.5 million people waiting for treatment – the highest figure on record – and 12-hour trolley waits tripling compared to this time last year.

“With 20,000 cancelled operations in the last quarter - up by six per cent in the same period last year - June waiting times for cancer treatment and referrals the worst since records began, and July being the busiest month for A&E attendances ever recorded, the NHS is in desperate need of a lifeline.

“The new Government must realise that behind these figures are patients who are suffering because they do not have timely access to care and staff who are being pushed to their limits, to the detriment of an effectively functioning health service.  

"The recently announced spending for the NHS is welcome, if that indeed represents new investment, but frankly these figures suggest that much more is needed if the performance of the NHS is to be restored. 

"It is also vital that the Government resolves the pensions crisis that is stopping experienced doctors from working on behalf of patients as extensively as they normally do, both quickly and effectively, or it will further undermine the performance of the NHS.”


Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

  1. Latest NHS performance stats can be found here.

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