Hospital apologises to elderly patient after 22-hour wait

January 11 2018 1:00pm The Times The letter from A&E consultants

The consultants spell out a series of problems which are now impacting the NHS, including: thousands of patients waiting in ambulances for hours; more than 120 patients a day managed in corridors, with some dying prematurely; an average wait of 10 to 12 hours for a bed; and more than 50 patients at a time waiting for beds in emergency departments.

The Prime Minister and Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt last week repeatedly claimed the NHS is better prepared than ever before this winter.

Official figures this week showed A&E departments had recorded the worst performance against a key waiting target since weekly reporting began, with 78% of patients dealt with in four hours - significantly below the Scottish Government's 95% target.

On New Year's Day, Mr Wilson waited three hours for an ambulance then 13 hours on a trolley for treatment.

A spokesman for the Vic said the severity of cases seen last month meant people were spending longer on the ward, while the success of efforts to get patients with more minor conditions to seek treatment elsewhere - such as walk-in centres - meant a greater proportion of those seen at the hospital needed more intensive treatment, causing delays for other patients. "We have insufficient hospital and community beds and staff of all disciplines especially at the front door to cope with our ageing population's health needs".

Speaking during first minister's questions at Holyrood, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson called on Ms Sturgeon to stop cutting hospital beds while Scotland is in the midst of a "flu crisis".

She said: "It will take some time for services to recover from the pressures being felt this winter and for the spikes in flu levels to subside".

"But this SNP government has cut both hospital beds and elderly social care places, so when something like a flu crisis hits, the system breaks down".

The First Minister said: "N evertheless, Scotland's NHS remains the best-performing NHS anywhere in the United Kingdom".

Mrs May said flu was putting extra pressure on services and encouraged people to act on the advice the NHS is giving.

"And it is about time that the opposition recognised the achievements of those working so hard on the frontline of our National Health Service".

The Scottish Ambulance Service reported an nearly 40 per cent increase in the number of calls on Hogmanay alone while NHS 24 received more than 45,000 calls in the four days over Christmas.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie called the problems "largely predictable" and said they were down to "Nicola Sturgeon's failure to do her job over the last ten years".

Mr Wilson's son, Michael, said he phoned 999 seven times - only to be told that an ambulance was coming from Kelso instead of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary just 14 minutes away.

The latest figures from Public Health England (PHE) show the number of flu patients admitted to hospital were two-and-a-half times higher than at the same time a year ago.

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