Responding to a winter pressures update from the Minister of State for Health, Dr Rob Harwood, BMA Consultants Committee chair said:
“Any extra resources for the NHS in England are to be welcomed, however, short term cash injections are unlikely to solve the endemic long term challenges that have left the health service struggling to cope with current pressures.
"Despite a mild winter so far, the NHS is barely keeping up with patient demand. Bed occupancy rates in NHS hospitals hit 94% in the first two weeks of December, well above the 85% recommended by experts and the 92% at which the NHS itself says care begins to deteriorate. This comes at a time when there are staff shortages across the health service. A cold winter snap in the coming months could plunge the NHS further into crisis despite today’s announcement.
“It is important the government uses the NHS Long Term Plan to ensure that we address the underlying weaknesses in capacity that are currently stopping patients getting the care they deserve throughout the year.”
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.