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Doctors will ‘not accept’ return to pre-pandemic NHS, says country’s top GP


pre-pandemic NHS


The Government contributed to the UK’s appalling Covid death toll by chronically starving the NHS of the resources it required pre-pandemic, the UK’s top GP will say today.

But, addressing the BMA’s Annual Representative Meeting (ARM), council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul will signal doctors have now had enough of the situation.

He will argue that all parts of the NHS had been starved, with insufficient hospital and community facilities and almost 90,000 staff vacancies even before the pandemic struck.

It was an NHS already in crisis, with waiting lists at an all-time high and record waits for cancer treatment, according to the BMA leader.

Dr Nagpaul will tell delegates: ‘We will not accept a return the old pre-pandemic NHS, which was so patently under-staffed and under-resourced, where nine in 10 doctors are afraid of medical errors daily. We will not accept an NHS running at unsafe bed occupancy and without spare capacity.

‘We will not accept an NHS unprepared for a pandemic, without vital PPE to protect the health and lives of health and care workers.

‘We will not accept an NHS in crisis every summer, let alone every winter. We will not accept a nation bereft of public health staff, facilities and testing capacity, with ministers then paying billions to private companies who were unable to deliver.’

Highlighting that the UK has ‘endured the horror’ of more than 130,000 people dying from Covid since the pandemic began – far higher than many similar nations – Dr Nagpaul will also reiterate the BMA’s calls for an immediate public inquiry of the Government’s pandemic handling.

The ARM, which this year is an in-person event after last year’s virtual replacement, takes place in London during today and tomorrow.

Issues on the agenda include:

Dr Nagpaul’s comments come as a Pulse survey last week revealed that around 80% of GPs say that a return to pre-pandemic levels of face-to-face appointments is not necessary.

Pulse’s survey of 1,000 GPs also found that half say that a return to the number of face-to-face appointments would not be possible, because patients are now expecting to have quicker access through remote consultations and fears around their health.

The survey also revealed that nearly three quarters of GPs are experiencing increased levels of patient abuse compared with before the pandemic.

The BMA co-signed a letter to health secretary Sajid Javid last week, urging him to condemn abuse of GPs and practice staff.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘We have backed the health service at every turn, with an extra £29bn to support health and care services on top of our historic settlement for the NHS in 2018. This will see the NHS budget rise by £33.9bn by 2023/24.

‘At the same time, we are backing the NHS with a further £36bn for health and social care and a ring-fenced £8bn to tackle backlogs and help the NHS deliver an extra nine million checks, scans and operations for patients across the country.’

READERS' COMMENTS [9]

Dave Haddock 13 September, 2021 11:05 am

The obvious mechanism to increase NHS funding is to do what the rest of the civilised World does, insurance, charges, co-payments.
Nowhere but Cuba tries to fund healthcare entirely out of taxation, for very good reason.

Decorum Est 13 September, 2021 11:18 am

Will be nostalgic for the demise of the NHS as we know it but FATPOA has to go and market forces prevail in a more functioning manner!

Paul Attwood 13 September, 2021 1:21 pm

BMA = We will not accept….. Crikey one is tempted to ask ….or what?

Remember to keep that powder dry BMA. Remember the (no) strike option.

I suspect that the BMA is irrelevant.

It is starting to happen. Press reports of people seeing GPs privately and taking the private option for operations. It is time to have that discussion.

Turn out The Lights 13 September, 2021 1:30 pm

Supect! The BMA is irrelevant,too little to late,an alternative ‘union’ is needed.the BMA is one in a very loose definition.£500 can be spent in much better ways especially with the pay restraint they have colluded in over the last decade or more.Dont regret not paying subs anymore.

Patrufini Duffy 13 September, 2021 3:04 pm

Today you probably covered up for:

– no bottles
– no health visitors or well baby clinics
– a rejected referral (s)
– a premature rushed discharge
– no stock of that medicine
– some crap NHS App dysfunction
– an 18-week wait for outpatients
– some midwife or antenatal nonsense
– an incomplete microbiology result
– some 111 call handler turfing you a minor ailment
– a private GP app saying “same day GP FF”
– a hospital secretary that don’t pick up

And the list goes psychotically on, and on…
You can’t bill anyone for your £0 unlimited tariff. Well done to that “GP burecracy working group”

Dave Haddock 13 September, 2021 3:19 pm

Nobody outside the echo-chamber is going to pay much attention to bma posturing. On past history the bma have accepted pretty much any crap that comes our way; what are they going to do? Another survey?

David Jenner 14 September, 2021 7:13 pm

Patrifini Duffy has it exactly
Time to walk away from PCNs I Propose !
That we can do and it will take work away and give NHSE and government a big headache
I feel a vote to LMC conference coming on!

Hot Felon 16 September, 2021 6:10 pm

What is ‘country’s top GP’ ??

Not in my book

Charles Richards 22 September, 2021 3:01 pm

Talk about ‘money’ and you loose your audience (MPs ministers and the public). Talk instead about ‘capacity’, the decades long ‘trend’ and waiting times? That is more to the point