The Government’s tiering system will have no impact on efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus with more than a third of doctors doubting its effectiveness.
Some 37 per cent of medics in England said they felt the three-tier system would be ineffective, while less than half (46 per cent) said they thought they would work to a slight extent and just 5.95 per cent said a significant extent.
Research, from the British Medical Association (BMA), also shows concern among healthcare staff for the winter period, with more than half saying they are “quite anxious” about it.
Almost two thirds (65 per cent) said staffing shortages are a worry in the coming months, while 60 per cent said they are concerned about their personal health and wellbeing.
More than 6,000 medics were questioned as part of the survey and the findings show the “enormous scale of the challenges” facing the NHS into winter, the BMA chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said.
Only around a third claimed they have premises currently suitable to adequately separate Covid and non-Covid patients – a statistic the BMA said highlights how difficult it will be to meet an expectation of resuming normal NHS services.
Dr Nagpaul 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.”
The BMA said it is 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”.
Dr Nagpaul said: “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 6,610 doctors in England took part in the survey during the week of October 19.
A majority (70 per cent) said they had not contracted coronavirus.