44,000 seek aid af­ter so­cial cuts

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A&E for more than 12 hours be­fore be­ing ad­mit­ted to a ward in De­cem­ber.

Such waits were recorded at 38 trusts – but the ma­jor­ity were at the University Hos­pi­tals of North Mid­lands NHS Trust, which runs A&Es at Royal Stoke University Hos­pi­tal and Stafford’s County Hos­pi­tal. Here, 178 pa­tients lan­guished for at least 12 hours.

And the sit­u­a­tion could get even worse, as health bosses are con­sid­er­ing down­grad­ing ei­ther County Hos­pi­tal or nearby Queen’s Hos­pi­tal in Bur­ton.

Pen­nine Acute Hos­pi­tal, which runs A&Es at Fair­field Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in Bury, North Manchester Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal and Royal Old­ham Hos­pi­tal, had the sec­ond high­est num­ber of 12hour breaches at 86.

Ter­ri­ble

And the third high­est at 84 was Worces­ter­shire Acute Hos­pi­tals NHS Trust, which runs Worces­ter­shire Royal Hos­pi­tal – where two pa­tients died last month af­ter long waits on trol­leys. It also runs the down­grade-threat­ened A&E at Alexan­dra Hos­pi­tal, Red­ditch.

Dr Boyle said: “These statis­tics are ter­ri­ble. For pa­tients to be wait­ing that A PA­TIENT who spent 10 hours on an A&E trol­ley at Worces­ter­shire Royal Hos­pi­tal de­scribed the unit as “like Ar­maged­don”.

Writ­ing on the NHS Choices feed­back web­site, the pa­tient said the depart­ment was “stretched be­yond full ca­pac­ity”.

They wrote: “It showed in de­liv­ery of care and treat­ment by over­worked staff. Staff are work­ing in ter­ri­ble con­di­tions, long on trol­leys in cor­ri­dors is undig­ni­fied and un­kind. But there is also good ev­i­dence long waits in A&Es are associated with avoid­able mor­tal­ity.”

Shadow Health Sec­re­tary Jon Ash­worth said the fig­ures were proof of “Theresa May’s ut­ter dis­re­gard for the dire state of the NHS”. He said: “Be­hind each of these statis­tics is a pa­tient in un­ac­cept­able dis­com­fort.

“Labour is call­ing for a sus­tain­able fund­ing pack­age for health and so­cial care in the March Bud­get.”

NHS Eng­land said De­cem­ber saw a 41 per cent annual in­crease in de­lays it’s like Ar­maged­don. It is not ac­cept­able to have over 16 pa­tients ly­ing on trol­leys block­ing busy cor­ri­dors. This hos­pi­tal can­not func­tion in a safe man­ner if man­age­ment al­low this to con­tinue.”

The web­site also al­lows the hos­pi­tal trusts to re­spond and Worces­ter­shire Acute Hos­pi­tals NHS said: “We are work­ing hard to in­tro­duce ways to dis­charg­ing pa­tients due to pres­sures in so­cial care. A spokes­woman said: “Front­line ser­vices came un­der un­prece­dented pres­sure.”

On plans to close and down­grade A&Es, she added: “The num­ber of peo­ple seek­ing ur­gent care is on the rise, so over­all we ex­pect the ser­vices avail­able to ex­pand. Within that over­all ex­pan­sion, it may be pos­si­ble to im­prove care with some con­cen­tra­tion of spe­cial­ist ur­gent ser­vices. We do not ex­pect sig­nif­i­cant numbers of A&E changes in the years ahead.” im­prove how we deal with in­creased ncreased pres­sure in A&E.”

Pa­tients have also shared hor­ror sto­ries of Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal’s ’s A&E.

One re­viewer, whose part­nerner had ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain ev­ery time he took a breath, de­scribed the unit as s “sham­bolic” as they spent 12-and-a-half -a-half hours wait­ing to be ad­mit­ted. d. NEARLY 44,000 peo­ple cop­ing with so­cial is­sues in­clud­ing home­less­ness and al­co­holism went to an A&E last year in Eng­land – up from 21,213 in 2007/8, when fig­ures be­gan. Char­i­ties blame sweep­ing cuts to ser­vices and say A&E is some­times the only place left to go. Jad AdamsA­dams, of Night­watch, said: “Most com­com­plain about long A&E waits but ffor the home­less they are wel­cow­el­come be­cause it’s some­where­some­whe warm.” Shad­owShado Health Sec­re­tary Jon Ash­wAsh­worth added: “Theresa May need­needs to get a grip and ex­plain­exp what she’ll do to fix this.”

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