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NHS staff ‘petrified’ of how bad winter will be at hospitals in England

Doctors and nurses are “absolutely frightened and petrified” about how bad this winter will be for the NHS in England, hospital bosses have revealed.

Staff fear services will not be able to cope with a combination of flu, resurgent Covid, winter and the cost of living crisis damaging people’s health, and also the wave of looming strikes over pay.

“People are genuinely scared,” said the chief executive of one acute NHS trust in England.

“I’m talking to senior clinicians and consultants and nurses who are absolutely frightened and petrified about what’s potentially to come,” added the hospital boss, speaking on condition of anonymity. Staff are anxious because of “the potential for the impact of Covid and flu, the impact of industrial action, the impact of cost of living, the impact on people’s health from that, [and] the massive increases in mental health need, and the breakdown in primary care and social care.”

Chiefs of other NHS trusts in England said they shared that gloomy prognosis. They are bracing themselves for having to curtail and cancel services on days when staff stop work over pay, including outpatient clinics and non-urgent surgery. The NHS will face an “onslaught” this winter, one said.

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Source: The Guardian, 15 November 2022


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