Health secretary’s NHS elective recovery announcement ‘fails to address key issues’ – SAM past president

Commenting on today’s NHS elective recovery plan announcement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Dr Susan Crossland, immediate past president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: 

“While we support developing plans to help reduce the backlog of patients waiting for NHS care, the announcement today from the health secretary is far from comprehensive and fails to address key issues.

“Everyone needs to be clear that plans to reduce the backlog of elective care are inextricably linked to the urgent and emergency care system.

“As we have stated previously, overstretched acute medical services mean that elective beds are used for emergency patients which exacerbates the problem with waiting lists and impacts those waiting for urgent investigations and surgical procedures. 

“Elective care will never function well if other parts of the service are under significant strain and we are far from finding solutions to the workforce crisis, reductions in bed capacity and delayed discharges which remain a fundamental threat to recovery.”