ON Thursday, January 5, all consultants at Salisbury District Hospital received a message stating, amongst other things: ‘Every bed in the hospital is full’, ‘Emergency Department majors is full with no more physical spaces to see patients, ambulances are queuing outside’, ‘All other local hospitals in a similar situation’. We were asked to do all we could to alleviate this dire situation.

Many readers will have been affected by this crisis. It is not the fault of the health professionals, nor of the hospital managers who are also struggling. This winter crisis was entirely predictable, as a direct result of cuts to health services and cuts to social care.

Government actively decided not to do anything to relieve the inevitable pressure even though ministers knew that this would happen, not just in Salisbury but throughout the country.

There are powerful voices close to government who want to see the NHS fail because they are ideologically opposed to publicly-provided healthcare.

There are no more ‘efficiencies’ to be made, and there is no slack in the system. The only solution is increased central government funding. So if you or your family have been subjected to long waits for urgent treatment, have been sent home without adequate support, or had operations cancelled, then don’t blame those of us who work in the NHS. Blame this government’s deliberate policy, and then write to our MP John Glen (john.glen.mp@parliament.uk) or join a campaigning organisation such as Keep our NHS Public (keepournhspublic.com) or the NHS Action Party (nhap.org).

Please note these views are my own and not those of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust or its managers.

Dr Robert Scott-Jupp Consultant Paediatrician, SDH