A SECOND peak of coronavirus is "very likely" and the greatest fear of doctors in Wales ahead of the winter months.

Eighty-six per cent of doctors and medical students who responded to a survey by the British Medical Association Wales said a second peak is 'likely' or 'very likely' in the next six months.

And they say confusing messages on public health measures, lack of monitoring and adherence to infection control measures in public settings, and a failure of the test and trace system - including poor access to testing sites - are the main risks.

When asked about the impact of measures to help prevent a second peak, doctors said that a fit for purpose test and trace system that is accessible and provides timely results, as well as a coherent, rapid and consistent approach to local outbreaks are the two most important.

They also highlighted the need for clearer public information and more visible messaging on rules and guidelines, including those on mixing with people from outside your household.

Almost 550 doctors and medical students took part in the survey between September 9 and 11.

“The survey results expose the greatest fears of doctors in Wales - fears borne out of their everyday experiences of treating patients with Covid-19 and witnessing the dramatic impact of the virus on the NHS," said Gwent GP Dr David Bailey, who chairs the BMA Cymru Wales council.


“As a profession, and I’m sure as a nation, we do not wish to return to the scenes we saw earlier in the year, where hospitals were full with Covid-19 patients, many people dying every day.

“As local lockdowns come into force in Wales and new measures are introduced to minimise the spread, we must all work together to prevent the virus taking hold in our communities once more.

"But to do this, Welsh Government must provide clearer public information and more visible messaging on rules and guidelines, and the test and trace system must be sorted once and for all. The public cannot be expected to travel hours from home to get a test.

“We know that doctors have struggled to manage Covid-19 cases alongside routine care - waiting lists have rocketed - understandably, as doctors have grappled with the influx of patients affected by the virus.

“Our members have told us they are concerned at the prospect of managing routine care alongside a second peak. With a high proportion of doctors already reporting stress and burnout, the impact a second peak would have on patients and the profession is extremely worrying.

“With cases rising and winter approaching, we are at a critical point in the fight against the virus. It’s in all our interests to ensure our fears do not turn into reality.”