Majority of doctors believe the tier system will have little to no impact on coronavirus spread

More than a third of doctors in England feel the government’s tier system will have no impact on efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), while almost half (46%) said they thought the system would only work to a slight extent. This is according to a wide-ranging survey from the British Medical Association (BMA).

The research also raises concerns about the confidence of healthcare staff for the autumn/winter period. More than half said they’re “quite anxious” about it.

“Enormous scale” of challenges

The findings show the “enormous scale of the challenges” facing the NHS into winter, the BMA chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said.

He added:

Large numbers of doctors across England have little faith that the Government’s current ‘tiered’ based lock-downs will have any significant impact on controlling the virus.

Instead of a few short weeks of suppression, bringing economic and emotional misery for those in the areas affected, we need a national prevention strategy that has a lasting impact and gets growing infection rates under control across England.

The BMA said it’s calling for the government to be “both honest and realistic with the public about whether the NHS can cope with routine care and Covid care this winter”.

Read on...

Dr Nagpaul also said:

Doctors know that this winter is likely be one of the most difficult times of their careers.

They are extremely worried about the ability for the NHS to cope and their ability to care for the needs of their patients.

Almost two thirds (65%) of healthcare staff surveyed said staffing shortages are a concern in the months ahead.

In terms of dealing with patients, 58% said they’re concerned about the ability to cope with demand from non-coronavirus patients. While 44% said they were worried about the ability to cope with demand from patients with coronavirus symptoms.

Only around a third said they have premises that are currently suitable to adequately separate coronavirus and non-coronavirus patients. This is a statistic which, the BMA said, highlights how difficult it’ll be to meet an expectation of resuming normal NHS services.

Survey results

The BMA said 6,610 doctors in England took part in the survey during the week of 19 October.

Asked to what extent they believed the current rules for tiering in their area will be effective in containing the spread of the virus, more than a third (37%) said they felt they would have no impact or be ineffective. Around half (46%) said they thought they would work to a slight extent. And just 5.95% said a significant extent.

Almost a fifth (19%) of those questioned said that in the two weeks leading up to the mid-October survey, they’d seen a significant increase in the number of coronavirus cases. And the number was was higher than the same point in the first wave.

Some 11% said while their local health system has plans in place to be able to address the backlog of patients whose care was cancelled, delayed, or otherwise disrupted amid the pandemic, they’d not yet made any progress. While just over a quarter (27%) said they had made some progress.

A majority (70%) said they had not contracted coronavirus. While 60% said they’re concerned about their personal health and wellbeing.

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us