Army deployed at London hospitals to combat omicron staff shortages

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the board of the British Medical Association (BMA), told Sky News that “we have never before known this level of absence from staff”, adding: “Every winter, of course, the NHS comes under additional pressure. , but I don’t think that anyone who has worked in the NHS has experienced this level of absence from their colleagues and we feel it in very real time because doctors, nurses and healthcare workers have to cover their absent colleagues, which adds exceptional additional stress “.

He said that although Omicron was gentler, people were still getting seriously ill with Covid-19 and hospitals were grappling with the backlog of NHS treatments, with nearly six million people on the waiting list.

When asked how close the NHS was to being overwhelmed, he said: “I think words like overwhelmed, I mean, I think we should look at reality.”

“The reality of the Army recruited in London, the reality of 24 hospitals declared critical incidents, the reality that some hospitals have to cancel all their routine surgeries, the reality of general practices that have to cancel clinics that day.

“I am a GP, I have never known this badly. We have to literally contact patients without realizing that the staff member or a doctor or nurse is simply not there today because they isolate themselves.

“This is not normal and, therefore, the Government must recognize that it is clearly an NHS under extreme pressure and, unfortunately, the reality that thousands of patients experience is that they are suffering the consequences of such pressures and also the absence of staff “.


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