Due to a “perfect storm” of pressure leading medics are warning that NHS patients will endure “significant harm and trauma” as junior doctors in England are on the longest strike the health service’s history.
Officials have warned that impact of the junior doctors strike action will be felt for weeks or even months.
Dr Tim Cooksley, immediate past president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said patients will have no choice but to be subjected to the draconian “corridor care.”
He then warned that ambulances could face long waits outside hospitals which will affect patients who could face “significant harm and trauma due to delayed ambulance responses.”
“A continuum of often predictable perfect storms has caused a struggling system to reach collapse,” Dr Cooksley wrote in an editorial published in The British Medical Journal (BMJ).
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said, “NHS trusts have been working at pace to prepare for these strikes, which come during one of the busiest weeks of the year for the health service.
“They are dealing with rising levels of winter viruses in the midst of industrial action and higher than anticipated staff sickness.
“A number of trusts have already declared critical incidents, with pressure likely to get worse as the walkout continues this week.
“Rather than accusing hospital leaders of refusing to provide the required information in full to the BMA, this is more about them needing to limit the precious time they and their teams have available to filling in forms when patient safety could be at risk.”
An NHS England spokesman said, “Given this period of industrial action coincides with the most difficult time of year for the NHS, it is to be expected that more senior medical leaders will ask their colleagues for allowances to be made to ensure safe levels of cover.”