SECOND COVID PEAK IS LIKELY! say thousands of BMA doctors

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A thousand NHS workers marched in London on Saturday demanding a 15% pay rise – they have risked their own lives to save lives

THOUSANDS of doctors say a second Covid peak is very likely and is their greatest fear this winter.

A major survey of doctors by the BMA shows that a second peak of Covid-19 in England this winter is the number one concern among the medical profession.

Eighty-six per cent of more than 8,000 doctors and medical students who responded said that a second peak is likely or very likely in the next six months.

The findings come after daily cases in the UK soared to more than 3,500 last Friday, and as the R number rose to above 1 for the first time since March – meaning the epidemic is growing once again.

When asked about the impact of measures to help prevent a second peak, doctors said that a fit-for-purpose test and trace system that is accessible and provides timely results, as well as a coherent, rapid and consistent approach to local outbreaks were the two most important.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said yesterday: ‘With daily cases still alarmingly high, and winter just around the corner, we are at a critical crossroads in the fight against this deadly virus.

‘All efforts must be made to avoid a repeat of the horror and tragedy we all experienced earlier this year.’

Meanwhile, the BMA is calling on the government to urgently reform social care in England and make it free at the point of need.

The doctors’ union said yesterday that growing pressures on social care services are resulting in more and more people’s needs not being met, causing distress for some of society’s most vulnerable and putting unnecessary strain on the wider NHS.

Dr Helena McKeown, chair of the representative body at the BMA, said: ‘For too long, social care has been an afterthought, slipping down the list of government priorities, much to the detriment of the nation’s health, with services having been overstretched, underfunded, and understaffed for decades …

‘Covid-19 almost destroyed our social care system, and with a growing, ageing population, we need a care system that will support them and those who work in it, not one that leaves those in need at risk.’