On 2 January, the Society for Acute Medicine issued the below press release calling on the government to announce its contingency plans ahead of “potentially the worst January” the NHS has faced.
This was covered by The Guardian, ITV News, the Daily Express, the Daily Mail, the i newspaper, The Sun and The Morning Star.
References to the press release have continued since its release date and SAM president Dr Mark Holland took part in a BBC Radio 2 interview on the Jeremy Vine show to discuss A&E attendances (Friday 6 Jan).
He then talked to The Guardian about increasing pressures and reports of the deaths of two patients left to wait on trolleys at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
Following this, Dr Holland appeared on BBC Breakfast News, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live and on the news bulletins of BBC Radio 1, Radio Essex, Radio Kent, Radio Suffolk, Radio Cumbria, Radio Leicester, Radio Humberside, Radio Tees and Radio Newcastle (Saturday 7 Jan).
On Sunday (8 Jan), Dr Holland appeared in The Observer’s front page story where he called on May to convene a special version of Cobra, the committee summoned only in national emergencies.
He was later interviewed by ITV Granada.
Following the first comments to be made on the current pressures facing emergency and acute care in hospitals by health secretary Jeremy Hunt, Dr Holland responded with the following statement:
This featured in a number of national newspapers and as the main story on Sky News bulletins throughout the day on Monday (9 January) and was included in the Daily Mail’s front page article:
On Monday evening (9 January), Dr Holland appeared briefly on Channel 4 News to discuss the current situation and Mr Hunt’s comments so far.