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New advice to hospitals on declaring “major incidents” sparks row in parliament

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h558 (Published 02 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h558
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1The BMJ

A political row has erupted over the NHS after the opposition Labour party accused the government of putting pressure on struggling hospitals not to declare “major incidents” in the run up to the general election.

The dispute concerns guidance issued by NHS England to hospitals in the West Midlands stipulating strict criteria that hospitals must meet before declaring a major incident. The guidance was issued after several hospitals declared major incidents because demand from patients had reached a level that could disrupt services.1 Major incidents often see …

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