Doctors Highlight Political Damage To NHS

The message from politicians that Britain cannot afford healthcare – even though it is one of the richest economies in the world – is damaging the NHS. That’s the warning from an A&E consultant columnist writing in BMA News this week.

“If we tried caring instead of business models, it might fit better as an NHS ethos,” says ‘Frontline Medicine’ columnist Charles Lamb, noting that the caring element is being forced out of the NHS.

Alongside, a junior doctor tells of his experiences trying to obtain plastic surgery urgently needed for a patient with a gaping arm wound. ‘After nearly two hours of continuous effort, a plastic surgeon understood my desperate situation and agreed to help.’

The shocked patient learnt that hospital reconfiguration meant he had to travel during the night to a theatre 100 miles away to get the crucial treatment.

The ‘Vital Signs’ columnist writes: “I felt sorry not only for the patient but also for my plastic (surgeon) colleagues who were so overloaded with extra work just because of the “resource crunch” we all face nowadays. This problem has become an inherent part of every hospital doctor’s life.”

The BMA, as part of its ‘Caring for the NHS’ campaign, is currently working on an alternative vision for the NHS to counter what they see as conflicting and damaging reforms.