Senior doctor warns new NHS investment falls ‘well short’

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The National Health Service is now in the grip of an “all year” crisis and new Government investment falls “well short” of what is needed to halt it, a senior doctors’ leader will say today.

Although the Prime Minister’s promise of a cash injection is a positive step, it is a belated pledge after years of denial, according to Dr Chaand Nagpaul.

The NHS is being “run ragged” and traditional peaks and troughs in demand for patient care no longer existing, he will say.

The British Medical Association’s (BMA) Council chairman will address health service professionals at an annual BMA meeting in Brighton today.

His scathing assessment comes after a survey of UK doctors found that almost three-quarters felt that financial targets are prioritised over patient care in the NHS.

In his address, Dr Nagpaul will add: “We know the NHS has been systematically and scandalously starved of resources for years. It lacks doctors, it lacks nurses, it lacks beds. It’s not just the channel that separates us from our European neighbours, but a vast funding gap equating to 35,000 hospital beds or 10,000 doctors.

“We’re being run ragged. A health service of gaps and stopgaps where two out of three juniors report holes in their rota and one third of GP practices have long-term vacancies. It’s the new norm. It’s a new low.”