BMA survey reflects winter fears

NINE out of 10 doctors responding to a BMA survey said they felt uneasy that they could not provide the standard of care they wanted during the pandemic and a third said this unease had worsened since October.

The BMA conducted the survey of 7,776 doctors and medical students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland between 14 and 17 December. It also found that a significant proportion are not confident of their department or practice’s ability to manage either Covid-related (40 per cent) or non-Covid (51 per cent) demand in the coming weeks.

A third (33 per cent) of respondents said the level of demand for care of patients without Covid is now considerably higher than before the pandemic began.

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul – speaking after the Prime Minister announced greater restrictions for broad regions of England – commented: “This survey was done ahead of last night’s [19 December] rule change, but it shows the level of worry felt by so many doctors working in an overwhelmed health service that is struggling to cope with current levels of ill patients, both with Covid and other conditions. Yesterday’s announcement, while hugely disappointing to the millions of people now having to cancel Christmas plans, affirms that the tightening of the restrictions is absolutely the right decision and one which will save lives.

“This survey reveals a profession fearful not just for the patients we have now, but for those we will soon have to treat in the new year as a result of a rise in infections caused in part by the new strain but also by increased socialising during Christmas."

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