Yet again, the NHS finds itself in a very difficult position as the inevitable pressures characteristic of the busy winter period have left healthcare services struggling to cope.
A&E performance figures for December were the worst on record across the country and in Derbyshire, despite coming above the national average for A&E wait times, they were unable to meet the 95 per cent performance target.
There is of course a story behind each of these damning statistics, a story of a patient who, despite the best efforts of hardworking staff who have been tirelessly grafting in increasingly difficult conditions, is not getting the level of care they ultimately deserve from the NHS.
Despite repeated warnings over the pressure the NHS will face this winter, health services were again unprepared for the inevitable surge in demand as long-term funding and improvements to workforce planning are necessary to meet future challenges head on.
Politicians of all parties must come together and work towards a long-term funding and staffing plan for the NHS that will reverse this dangerous tide and ensure a more sustainable future.
Dr Peter Holden
BMA East Midlands regional council chairman
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