NHS warns of unsustainable pressures on hospital A&Es
A RECORD number of people spent more than half a day in A&E in Leicester’s hospitals in October as they waited for a ward bed to become free.
There are warnings the NHS faces unsustainable pressures with record 999 calls and long waits in A&Es.
At University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, 22,848 people visited A&Es in October.
Of those, 57 per cent waited less than four hours from arrival to admission, discharge, or transfer – but 224 patients waited more than 12 hours for a bed, the highest monthly number on record.
East Midlands Ambulance Service answered 93,765 999 calls in October, 8,656 of them life threatening call-outs, high.
Across England, NHS 999 services had their busiest-ever month in October as staff fielded 1,012,143 calls, NHS England figures show.
Ambulance staff responded to 82,129 life threatening call-outs, an increase of more than 20,000 on the previous high for October in 2019.
Major A&E departments treated more than 1.4 million people during October – the highest ever for the month, and third highest of all time.
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “The NHS is now facing unsustainable pressures and running so hot it has reached a tipping point.
“These numbers highlight the extraordinary and unprecedented demand the health service is now facing with a waiting list that now which is also
arecord tops 5.8 million. Healthcare leaders are sounding alarm bells and warning that patient safety is also at serious risk due to staff shortages.
“Unless we take action now this pressure is going to get even worse in the deepest midwinter months and we would urge the government to do everything it can to prevent the NHS from plunging further into crisis.
“As our sister service, social care also urgently needs extra funding and support now to ensure that medically fit patients can safely be discharged into the community freeing up capacity in the NHS.
“We also need clarity from the centre on how an expanded NHS workforce will be funded in the longer-term in the hope that we are never again faced with a staffing crisis of this magnitude.”
In a new survey of NHS leaders nearly nine in 10 (88 per cent) say the demands on their organisation are unsustainable.
Almost as many (87 per cent) say that a lack of staffing in the NHS as a whole is putting patient safety and care at risk.
In A&Es across England, just 73.9 per cent of people attending were admitted, discharged or transferred within four hours, the worst performance since records began in November 2010.
A record 7,059 people also faced more than 12 hours waiting in A&E for a hospital bed after being admitted.
Dr Denise Langhor, emergency medicine lead at the BMA, said: “In emergency departments across the country, people are having to receive care in corridors because there is no space, and this not only creates extremely stressful working conditions for staff, but is also unsafe and results in poorer outcomes for patients.
“All of this is only set to get worse as we contend with upcoming worstever winter pressures, an ever-growing backlog of unmet need, and an inevitable rise in Covid hospitalisations.