Endless winter for our NHS

The latest NHS situation reports for accident and emergency (A&E) performance have been published this week and show the crisis in the NHS winter crisis stretching into spring.

Across the country, emergency admissions in the week ending 12 March were the highest they have been so far this winter and A&E attendances in the week ending 12 March were the highest since December.

In the week ending 12 March, there were 19 temporary diverts from one A&E to another to provide temporary respite. Overall, there have been around 84 per cent more diverts this winter than last winter.

In the week ending 12 March, 34 different trusts reported serious operational pressures at some point. On average, 20 trusts each day reported serious operational pressures.

Last week, 13 trusts across the nation had average bed occupancy over 99 per cent – up from 12 in the previous week.

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said:

“Standards for NHS patients have collapsed this winter because Theresa May just hasn’t given the health service the resources and the priority it needs.

It beggars belief that such pressure is still being seen on A&E after months of crisis – it is a sign of a wider system creaking under the strain of Tory neglect’.

The situation report follows news that nearly £2m is being spent in Portsmouth as a result of bed-blocking at QA Hospital. On average, about 240 people are stuck in beds at Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, despite being medically fit for discharge.

And with the cost of a patient per bed per day around £250, on a single day the problem of bed-blocking is costing the NHS £60,000 – £1.8m a month.

1Cllr Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth’s Labour Leader said:

“Our NHS is underresourced, understaffed and overstretched. We see the impact of this on a day-to-day basis on health services here in Portsmouth.

Waiting times for specialist appointments and clearing beds of people who are well enough to be discharged are key for improving the A&E services at QA.”

His comments come after latest figures from NHS England revealed Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, saw, treated or discharged only 66.7 per cent of patients within the four-hour target in January. The government target is 95 per cent.

Cllr Morgan added:

“The government needs to get a grip and make clear what action it is going to take so that patients and their families never have to suffer a winter like this ever again and the crisis we see in our NHS finally comes to an end.”

 

 

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