Every part of the health service is suffering, from understaffed, overworked hospitals to GP practices that are being overwhelmed by the sheer number of patients coming through the surgery door, the British Medical Association has said.
Responding to Nuffield Trust report on NHS finances, Dr Mark Porter, chair of BMA Council, said audited figures show the NHS buckling under the pressure of patient demand and stagnating resources.
He added: "It is clear that many problems in the NHS are coming to a head. We need politicians to stop chasing votes by coming up with short-term policy gimmicks, especially the pointless obsession with competition as enshrined in the Health and Social Care Act that delivers no benefits to patient care.
"Reintroducing targets in areas like general practice will also do little to address the fundamental funding shortfalls undermining the NHS.
"Instead we need to focus on working with health professionals and the public to find long-term solutions to the challenges facing our health service."