Message of thanks ‘appreciated but recognition of multitude of issues more important’

Following a message of thanks to NHS staff delivered by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens ahead of a visit today to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, Dr Nick Scriven, immediate past president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said:

“Although this message of thanks is appreciated, what is more important at this point is to highlight just how challenging things remain for staff who are exhausted and went into the pandemic with a multitude of issues that had long been raised but not addressed.

“These include staffing vacancies, ageing estates, social care provision and reduced bed numbers to name a few and the idea of a bonus payment – as was suggested to Mr Stevens recently –  would be no substitute for fixing the problems we have all been aware of for many years.

“So staff have done a remarkable job in dealing with Covid alone, but when you look at it in context of the myriad issues, what has been achieved is astonishing. The concern now, though, is that we face many more months of tough times and resilience is being tested to the the maximum.”