‘Government must accept we now face national emergency in NHS’ – SAM president

Following data released by NHS England yesterday which revealed 65 hospital trusts have issued warnings they are under heavy pressures and six have declared the highest state of emergency at some point, Dr Mark Holland, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said:

“For many months the Society for Acute Medicine has articulated a consistent message that our acute and emergency services lack the resilience to cope with winter pressure.

“So far this year we have not seen exceptional winter conditions to put undue pressure on the NHS, unseasonably mild weather and no evidence of a flu epidemic – hence we conclude that our services are unable to cope with the conditions of a normal winter.

“The government must now accept that the NHS cannot cope with a normal winter. When will the Prime Minister accept that we have a crisis on our hands?

“With the current cold snap about to bite, one would anticipate that nothing is going to improve very quickly.

“We’ve previously suggested that the government urgently convene a committee similar to the COBRA committee. We must accept that we now face a national emergency in the NHS in England.”

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