This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pul jul aug2020 cover 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

Independents' Day

BMA demands safe staffing legislation ahead of worst-ever winter

Safe staffing legislation for all UK health services should be created by the next government, according to the BMA in its election manifesto. 

Legislation to ensure that individual clinicians are not blamed when the system places them under unmanageable pressure should be put in place. 

The BMA released its manifesto alongside analysis that has shown that over a million patients could be waiting for over four hours at emergency departments this winter, alongside almost a third waiting for treatment on trolleys.

It says this is shaping up to be the 'worst ever winter'.

The union’s new manifesto for health has also urged political leaders to increase spending on health by 4.1% each year; get rid of the ‘punitive’ pension tax system for the NHS, which it describes as ‘driving senior doctors out of the workforce’; and ‘pay doctors fairly in a way that truly values our medical workforce and helps to retain staff’.

Announced the month before the general election on 12 December, the manifesto also called for:

  • Focus was also given to healthcare prevention, with the BMA urging ‘stronger action on smoking, alcohol misuse, physical inactivity and poor diet’,
  • Letting the public have the final say on any Brexit deal.

The need to ‘put the NHS on a sustainable long-term footing’ was also reiterated, in the run-up to the system’s anticipated ‘worst-ever’ winter.

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘Enough is enough. Right across the health service, trusts and GP practices will be bracing themselves for what looks set to be the worst winter the NHS has ever endured.

‘Patients should not fear needing hospital care or being able to see their GP, nor should they have to accept that they may spend hours on a trolley in an emergency department, waiting to be treated.'

He added: ‘Similarly, staff working in hospitals and GP practices across the country should not be facing the daunting prospect of having to care for those patients in these relentlessly pressurised environments.'

Dr Nagpaul also stated how ‘Brexit and health are two clear priorities for the UK voting public’ and that from aspects like addressing Brexit-related medicine shortages, the damaging impact of pension taxation policies driving doctors out of the profession, and cuts to public health, the Manifesto for Health is the ‘blueprint from which the NHS can grow and thrive’.

The BMA's other recent manifesto, Caring supportive collaborative, berated the NHS as being ‘unsafe’‘underfunded’ and home to a ‘persistent culture of fear’. On this occasion, Dr Nagpaul called for ‘radical change’.

Related images

  • young person consultation

Readers' comments (15)

  • Nag, Nag, Nag???

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Vinci Ho

    This could turn out to be the most extraordinary general election in post war period . Apart from being against a backdrop of Brexit or No Brexit conundrum, there is actually no one easy way to predict which party is to win the contest , despite Tories might think the poll was generally favourable to them .But early ominous signs have already been written on the wall when the most ‘clever ‘ Mr Rees-Mogg gave his comment about the Grenfell Tower disaster which had to be rescued by his immediate apology but was further complicated by another insouciant comment made by his conservative buddy , Andrew Bridgen . More will come ; not to mention the resignation of their Welsh Secretary , Mr Cairns , this evening.
    Labour , on the other hand , is holding at least , one ticking bomb named ‘Antisemitism’ . Its background powerful political machineries ( NEC , Momentum etc) have to be switched on to ‘cleanse’ the party . While that always remind me of Third International from last century , drastic measures adopted could potentially backfire.
    For those preferring the extreme ends of the ‘light spectrum’ of politics , you can choose either Liberal Democrat pushing hard to revoke Brexit led by their female wannabe prime minister or Brexit party for no-deal Brexit led by a leader who does not even participate in the actual election( ironically, his most successful elections were with EU he never supports!).
    So all their political castles are prone to ‘implosion’ (I always believe that castles are more likely to be conquered from inside than outside ,anyway 😆)
    They all need a campaign to sell something highly trustworthy, what else is better than doctors and nurses in NHS ?😜😂
    So , feel free to stick anything as unimaginable, far-fetching and eccentric on this ‘menu’ , 🤪
    While I stick to my previous argument that BMA and RCGP should not explicitly and publicly declare their anti-Brexit stance , Jaimie is still writing up the ‘manifesto’ for Pulse . I think there is certainly no harm for us to focus more on pressing issues on us(GPs). Send him your comments, by all means 😃
    The truth is any new government will need us far more than we need it . And there is no better time to be Aladdin calling for his wishes . 🤣

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Vinci Ho

    (1)More will come ; not to mention the resignation of their Welsh Secretary , Mr Cairns , yesterday .
    (2) While that always remind me of Third International from last century , drastic measures adopted could potentially backfire, already manifesting itself as their deputy leader stepped down ’promptly’ yesterday evening for ’personal’ rather than political reason(s).

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • if the BMA had the balls, it will cause a stinker now and kick the government where it deserves by calling for a doctors strike to hightlight how precarious situation the NHS is in but it wont so that is that.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • National Hopeless Service

    Is this the same demanding they did before Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba was totally shafted by the NHS?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • BMA demands.... BMA gets nothing.....what will BMA do? BMA will demand again.... BMA will get nothing...... dont strike, mass resignations...... its overdue.....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Nothing will change as GPs wont change. We will still do unfunded work in our own time and take on more and not support our colleagues.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Politicians are likely more concerned with the opinions of the Cat Protection League and the Royal Horticultural Society than with those of the BMA.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • What a bunch or eunuchs,they have show themselves to be totally lacking in what needed to represent the profession.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The BMA knows what it needs to do. I agree with my colleagues above. It has no teeth/balls hence we keep getting all these raw deals. Do more for no extra payments. Unilateral contracts. Learn to say no BMA.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page

Have your say