15 Sep Coronavirus: Rishi Sunak urged to fulfil NHS coronavirus funding vow as BMA warns of ‘triple whammy’ | UK News
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is being urged to make good on his promise to ensure the NHS has what it needs to cope with coronavirus as the health service faces the threat of “triple whammy” this winter.
The head of the British Medical Association (BMA), Dr Chaand Nagpaul, will point later to a trio of competing demands on the health service of “the non-COVID backlog, the ongoing risk of a second spike, and winter pressures.
These, he will say, “make it imperative that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak fulfils the promise of his words and gives the NHS ‘whatever it needs’.
“The citizens of this nation must no longer be punished from a failure to properly resource our health service,” he will add.
In a speech to doctors and medical students across the UK, Dr Nagpaul is expected to condemn the government’s “utterly inconsistent and confusing” messaging throughout the pandemic, and call for “coherence and adherence”.
After a week when many people in England were met with an error message when they tried to access coronavirus tests, he will also call for a “fit for purpose test and trace system” which has “capacity, agility and accessibility”.
Remembering health professionals who have died during the outbreak and the disproportionate impact of the virus on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff, he will say: “We owe each doctor who has laid down their life our gratitude, and their loved ones our profound sorrow.
“Never, ever again should doctors and healthcare workers fail to be adequately protected in the course of their duty.”
Another 2,621 cases of coronavirus were reported in the UK on Monday in the latest daily government figures, taking the total to 371,125.
The number of deaths increased by nine, bringing the overall count to 41,637.
In his Budget in March, Mr Sunak said: “Whatever extra resources our NHS needs to cope with coronavirus it will get – whether it’s millions of pounds or billions of pounds, whatever it needs, whatever it costs, we stand behind our NHS.”
A government spokeswoman said: “We have made significant strides in stopping the spread of coronavirus – this includes delivering 3.3 billion items of PPE to the front line with 31 billion items ordered, NHS Test and Trace testing hundreds of thousands of people every day, and almost 360,000 people contacted who may have been unwittingly spreading the virus.
The prime minister, she added, “has announced a further £3 billion winter funding for the NHS to relieve winter pressures on A&E and provide additional capacity.”