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Strain on health service is relentless warns BMA in response to NHS performance stats

Responding to the latest NHS performance figures which show that nearly 200,000 people waited over 4 hours on a trolley and 12 hour trolley waits are almost six times more than last winter, BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said:

“This latest set of performance figures confirm what doctors have been telling us and the reality experienced by patients daily; that the strain on our health service is relentless, deepening and showing no signs of recovery.   

“With nearly 200,000 people waiting over 4 hours on a trolley so far this winter – 56,000 more than the same time last year, and almost six times more people waiting over 12 hours on trolleys this winter compared to last – the Government is simply failing to get a grip on winter pressures.

“Stories of patient deaths on corridors, rammed emergency departments and cancellations of patient’s procedures as a daily occurrence are becoming the new norm as doctors across the country say they are exhausted and run into the ground.  This is an unacceptable situation for a civilised health service; it is failing patients and is not sustainable.

“This is also the second winter where we are seeing the ramifications of the pension crisis having a significant impact on patient care which is deterring doctors from working the hours they are able to due of perverse financial penalties. This requires a permanent solution, and such are we calling on government to scrap the annual allowance, including taper, in defined benefit schemes to address this once and for all.  

“With the budget coming up next month, the Government must fulfil its responsibility and obligation to end the shameful suffering experienced by patients due to this serious lack of capacity. The BMA is calling for an increase in total health funding by 4.1% annually as current spending commitments fall short of what is needed if we are to avert another winter crisis.”


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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