As everyone knows, 2 August is not a good day to get sick. Hospitals are in chaos, and patients are worried about undertrained, inexperienced and bewildered healthcare staff looking after them.
This chaos means that mortality rates are worryingly high. Mistakes will be happening throughout the day, but they are systemic issues – the young healthcare professionals cannot be blamed for these.
The state of the hospitals today means that patients can expect long waiting times. (I’m almost in awe of the audacity of the Prime Minister stating that the strikes are to blame for long waiting lists.)
This pandemonium is not limited to hospitals, of course. GPs are telling me that they are experiencing levels akin to winter pressures, and we are in the middle of summer.
They are reluctant to refer to hospitals today, knowing that their patients are unlikely to get the care they need. Their referrals might be received by staff who don’t have the capacity to make the best clinical decision.
We reported that one quarter of GPs now have private medical insurance, and it was striking that none of the media coverage was negative. They all simply understood why GPs felt they had to do this. After all, who today would trust the NHS to do its job properly?
So yes, today – like every other day – is a bad day to get sick. Oh, apparently it is also the day new doctors start.