NHS “clinging on by fingernails” says SAM president

In response to reports the NHS is “recovering well” following comments made at NHS England’s board meeting today (Thursday, 30 September), Dr Susan Crossland, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: “We support Amanda Pritchard’s praise for the hard work of staff across the NHS, but we should be clear that the NHS is definitely not recovering well – it’s clinging on by its last few fingernails.

“We simply can’t continue glossing over the fact we have a system that relies on its exhausted staff working into the ground to keep it afloat – it’s not sustainable.

“There is no hiding the fear among clinicians across the board about this winter with threats from all angles – bed shortages, respiratory illnesses, sickness, delays, Covid, staffing to name a few – and the discussion needs to be much more open about how treacherous the terrain is.

“The reality is the persistent wearing down of the NHS over many years through neglect of staffing, funding, estates and social care has landed us at this dangerous point.

“Until we see some transparency and a willingness from politicians and senior leaders to address the root causes and find workable short and long term solutions then we will end up with a threadbare NHS unable to come back from the damage inflicted on it.”