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‘Pressures in system remain high’ – SAM president

Commenting on today’s release of weekly NHS performance data, Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said:

“Pressures in the system remain high and it really is offensive and disingenuous to see the Prime Minister only yesterday remain adamant that the NHS was better prepared than ever this winter.

“In our own recent survey, more than three-quarters of clinicians working in acute medicine felt their hospitals were not adequately prepared for winter this year and 28% felt in a worse position than last year.

“The major concerns raised were a lack beds, inability of emergency departments to cope with numbers and staffing shortages among nurses and junior doctors – we need a system redesign not baseless reassurances.

“The overall mood among healthcare staff is that they remain anxious and depressed and we simply cannot afford a repeat of these dire circumstances again.

“The National Emergency Pressures Panel has not publicly said anything yet for beyond the end of January regarding elective surgery and trusts are continuing to make decisions week by week, so we could see the recent disruption to services continue for weeks to come.”

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