April 23, 2018

A&E doctor sorry for 'third world conditions' as NHS winter crisis bites

14 January 2018, 09:54 | Winifred Adams

Flu epidemic hits UK Hospitals over Christmas

Hospitals advise patients to attend appointments as normal unless contacted directly

Authorities have told hospitals to defer routine outpatient appointments and focus on emergencies, the BBC reports.

In a statement, the Trust said: "A&E is for patients requiring emergency care for serious and life-threatening conditions".

It comes as part of a bid to try to free up hospital staff and beds, with the deferral of non-urgent inpatient elective care - including hip replacements - also extended until the end of the month.

Their warning coincides with a warning from NHS Providers, that represents 98% of hospital, mental health, community and ambulance service trusts in England, which says the health service can no longer deliver adequate care within current funding.

"We expect these pressures to continue and there are early signs of increased flu prevalence".

Tony McDonald, deputy director of Operations at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "As with the majority of other hospitals nationwide, our Emergency Care Department has been experiencing a surge in demand over the Christmas and New Year period".

People scheduled to have outpatient appointments at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) are being urged to attend as normal, despite winter pressures on the NHS.

As well as the cancelling of non-urgent treatments, such as knee and hip replacements, hospitals have been given the green light to put patients on mixed sex wards and to bring Global Positioning System into A&E to help deal with patients.

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A hundred NHS officials now take home more than £150k, despite the health service struggling with massive cash issues.

"The NHS needs to take further action to increase capacity and minimise disruptive last-minute cancellations".

That is why we are making these further recommendations today.

Jane Cummings has called for the public to stop wasting time and resources as the NHS enters what is expected to be one of its busiest weeks of the year.

Labour's shadow health spokesman Jonathan Ashworth said the situation was the result of years of under-funding.

"Local people can help by not attending A&E for conditions which they could wait and see their GP for".

Tracy Bullock, the chief executive of Mid Cheshire hospitals NHS foundation trust, tweeted that, in her 34 years working in the NHS, she had "never seen anything like this".

He said, "We are seeing very high numbers of very sick patients in the Emergency Department and fewer patients being able to be discharged - many because they also remain in need of acute care".

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