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‘A blizzard in an eternal winter’ – SAM president

Following a BBC report on leaked NHS Improvement documents which show record numbers of patients have faced long waits in A&Es, Dr Mark Holland, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said:

“The data from NHS Improvement which was apparently leaked to the BBC shows that the NHS in England is now performing at an all time low in terms of the four-hour emergency access target.

“The Society for Acute Medicine predicted that we would reach this position many months ago.

“Only on Monday the secretary of state for health suggested that the crisis we have reached is not at the level perceived by everyone else in our country.

“We again call on the secretary of state for health to acknowledge the crisis we now face. Urgent action is needed. People with the knowledge and skills to turn this problem around, including the Society for Acute Medicine, must now be called upon to get us out of this position and define a strategy to make our acute healthcare system sustainable.

“This is not a ‘winter’ crisis. This is a blizzard in an eternal winter of the NHS. This situation we have reached was entirely predictable. Data suggests levels of flu and winter viruses are not epidemics.

“We accept that the secretary of state for health has a very difficult job on his hands, that there is no easy solution and simply throwing money at the problem without an appropriate strategy will not work. However, before we can move forward, the secretary of state must now acknowledge that we are in a dire crisis.”

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