THOUSANDS of doctors in England have told a BMA survey they have little or no confidence in the NHS being able to cope this winter.
It comes as part of a BMA survey of more than 6,500 doctors in England, with more than 70% of staff either not at all or not very confident about the abilities of services in community settings to cope, and 65% not confident about their own local healthcare service’s ability to cope.
The survey also reveals that 65% of doctors are quite or extremely anxious about work in the coming months, and more than 40% say their levels of stress, anxiety and emotional distress had got worse since the pandemic began.
And doctors say they are very sceptical about the effectiveness of the restrictions. Just under 6% say the measures will have any significant impact on containing the spread of the virus, but 37% say they will have no impact or be ineffective.
BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘Doctors know that this winter is likely to be one of the most difficult times of their careers. They are extremely worried about the ability of the NHS to cope and their ability to care for the needs of their patients.
‘These survey findings show the enormous scale of the challenges for the NHS in the coming months – and they reinforce the BMA’s call for a national and strategic approach to getting this virus under control.’
Around one in five doctors say they are seeing more Covid patients than they did at the same point during the first wave, and 28% have found non-Covid demand higher than before the pandemic.
The survey also reveals that there remains a backlog of millions of patients not receiving treatment during the first peak, and with only around one-quarter of doctors reporting that they have started to tackle the backlog, millions are still left waiting to be seen.
Meanwhile, there have been another 12 deaths linked to hospital infections in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board area.
There have been 47 deaths in the Royal Glamorgan, Llantrisant, 11 in Prince Charles in Merthyr Tydfil and 11 at the Princess of Wales, Bridgend.
This is the highest weekly figure since mid-May reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and is 10 more deaths than reported the week before.
Rhondda Cynon Taf has the ninth highest total death rate per 100,000 people involving Covid-19 across England or Wales, with a total of 353 deaths registered so far in the pandemic.
In the last 24 hours there have been 367 Covid deaths, the highest daily death toll since May.