Friday, 19 January 2018

NHS crisis: 100,000 waited 30 minutes in ambulance this winter

NHS crisis: 100,000 waited 30 minutes in ambulance this winter Latest figures show almost a quarter of those had to wait at least an hour before being seen

More than 100,000 patients this winter have had to wait in the back of an ambulance for at least 30 minutes because of A&E overcrowding, NHS figures have revealed.

In all 104,987 patients brought to hospitals in England have been stuck inside an ambulance for upwards of half an hour.

A combination of factors are at play. Hospitals have fewer beds than last year, so they are less able to deal with the recent, ongoing surge in illness. Last week, for example, the bed occupancy rate at 17 of England’s 153 acute hospital trusts was 98% or more, with the fullest – Walsall healthcare trust – 99.9% occupied.

The UK has fewer doctors and nurses than many other comparable countries both in Europe and worldwide. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Britain comes 24th in a league table of 34 member countries in terms of the number of doctors they have relative to their populations. Greece, Austria and Norway have the most; the three countries with proportionately the fewest medics are Turkey, Chile and Mexico. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, regularly points out that the NHS in England has more doctors and nurses than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010. That is true, although there are now fewer district nurses, mental health nurses and other types of health professionals.

We will be monitoring the situation in hospitals over the next few months and want to hear your experiences of the NHS this winter. We are keen to hear from healthcare professionals as well as patients about the situation. Have operations been cancelled? Has pressure led to certain wards being closed? How are staff coping? Help us document what is going on across the UKContinue reading... The Guardian

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