RCoA's statement in support of AoMRC winter pressures statement

Responding to a statement from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges on winter pressures, Professor Ravi Mahajan, Vice-President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA), said:

“We support the Academy in its calls for an honest debate about the money, the workforce and the structure that the health and social care system needs in order to find a long-term solution to address the pressures we are currently seeing.

“While the NHS will remain under considerable pressure this winter, patients can have full confidence in the commitment of NHS staff to delivering the best possible standard of care and treatment.

“It is thanks to the efforts of staff working in anaesthesia and throughout the hospital, who are going above and beyond what should reasonably be expected, that high-quality services are being maintained.

“However, the NHS cannot run on goodwill alone. We are asking NHS and social care staff to do too much with too little – and the effects of under-resourcing at a time of unprecedented demand are plain to see.

“Without proper, non-partisan and long-term planning for the NHS and adult social care services, issues of strained capacity, overworked staff and too few financial resources which have precipitated the challenges this winter, will only become more regular.

“On behalf of our combined 22,000 fellows and members working in anaesthesia, intensive care and pain medicine, we are calling for the Government to establish an independent Office for Health and Care Sustainability which can make future funding decisions to tackle system-wide and workforce pressures across the NHS. Not just for this winter, but for years to come.”

15 January 2018