NHS in crisis as 500 people die each week due 'killer' to emergency care delays

916     0
NHS in crisis as 500 people die each week due
NHS in crisis as 500 people die each week due 'killer' to emergency care delays

Hundreds of patients are dying unnecessarily as a bad flu season compounds systemic problems in the NHS, warns Royal College of Emergency Medicine chief Dr Adrian Boyle.

Another medic told of “Dickensian overcrowding” amid the emergency care NHS winter crisis.

Dr Boyle said this winter is likely to be the worst on record for A&E wait times as hospitals are hit with rocketing demand driven by flu, Covid and Strep A.

He added: “We think between 300 to 500 people are dying as a consequence of delays and problems with urgent and emergency care each week. We need to get a grip of this. I’d be amazed if December waiting time figures [yet to be released] are not the worst we’ve seen.

"We need to increase our capacity, make sure there are alternative ways so people aren’t all just funnelled into the ambulance service and emergency department.”

Teachers, civil servants and train drivers walk out in biggest strike in decade rridzziquridttinvTeachers, civil servants and train drivers walk out in biggest strike in decade

One patient spent 99 hours waiting for a bed last week at Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wilts, while elsewhere parents told how sick kids had to sleep on chairs.

NHS in crisis as 500 people die each week due 'killer' to emergency care delaysDr Adrian Boyle of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (Internet Unknown)

One clinician at Great Western Hospital said: “We’re broken and nobody is listening.” The hospital’s chief medical officer, Jon Westbrook, told staff in a leaked email: “We are seeing case numbers and [sickness] that we have not seen previously in our clinical careers.”

An NHS worker from the South West told The Sunday Times: “There is not enough oxygen in cylinders to treat patients in corridors, ambulances and in our walk-in area in A&E.”

At the children’s casualty unit at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, a girl of three was pictured curled up on a chair to sleep after waiting hours.

Dad Tom Hook told of “a broken system”.

NHS in crisis as 500 people die each week due 'killer' to emergency care delaysPeople were 'lying on the floor in pain' at Aintree Hospital (Liverpool Echo)
NHS in crisis as 500 people die each week due 'killer' to emergency care delaysParamedics treating patients at the entrance to A&E at Aintree Hospital (Liverpool Echo)

Services are “pressurised like never before”, said the Society for Acute Medicine. Its chief Dr Tim Cooksley urged ministers to declare a national NHS major incident.

Palliative care medic Rachel Clarke said: “In 14 years I’ve never known such horrific conditions. Dickensian overcrowding, total implosion.”

Several NHS trusts and ambulance services declared critical incidents in the past week. Saffron Cordery of NHS Providers said the pressure on the NHS is equivalent to that in the early stage of the pandemic.

The Department of Health said it is putting up to £14.1billion extra funding into health and social care in the next two years, with £500million this winter to speed up hospital discharge, and boosting training and recruitment

Ben Glaze

Print page

Comments:

comments powered by Disqus