Crisis in the NHS caused by Tory underfunding not Covid, say BMA

The BMA has drawn up a major dossier that refutes Sajid Javid’s claims that the pressures on the NHS were created by the Covid pandemic, amid continued warnings over patient safety, scarce beds and staff morale.

The health secretary has repeatedly suggested that the problems around record waiting lists and ambulance waiting times have been prompted by the pandemic. Last week in parliament, he accused shadow health secretary Wes Streeting of having his “head under a rock for two years” for not seeing that the pressures stemmed from Covid.

However, in a major review of evidence shared with the Observer, doctors pointed to issues around funding, bed capacity, staffing and recruitment that pre-dated the arrival of Covid. The report drawn up by the BMA before it gathers for its annual conference this week, finds that the UK’s health services were ill-prepared for the pandemic as a result of “historical underfunding and under-resourcing in the decade preceding the virus”.

Full story in The Observer, 26 June 2022