Monday, 22 January, 2018

Fund NHS standards or change them, warn NHS Providers

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson during FMQs at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson during FMQs at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh
Marlene Weaver | 12 January, 2018, 18:05

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "The Government is supporting the NHS this winter with an additional £437 million as well as £1 billion extra social care funding this year".

In addition, nearly half a million patients called the NHS 111 helpline last week, the highest number ever.

It has also instructed NHS trusts already experiencing "high levels of operational pressure" this winter to convert clinics and areas usually used for day-case surgery into overflow areas with beds to reduce the risk of running out of space for patients.

With 34 escalation beds remaining open at the QEH and more than 5,000 people attending its A&E last month, chief executive Jon Green said "the pressure has not eased off".

The situation threatens a repeat of last winter, when some hospitals had to turn gyms and storage areas into temporary wards as increasing numbers of patients had to wait hours on trolleys in corridors or in ambulances before being given a bed.

Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of respondents (65%) said the Government was managing the current pressures on the NHS badly, 38 Degrees said.

The Gazette also reported yesterday how so-called bed-blocking - when patients are well enough to leave and want to do so but can not due to a lack of social care provision - is adding to the strain on hospital wards.

Liberal Democrat leader Mr Rennie said: "The pressure faced by the NHS has been coming for years, it was largely predictable".

"We also saw the best seasonal performance on NHS Delayed Transfers of Care in four years and went into winter with cancer and routine surgery waits both showing improvements".

"While we do not want any delay to patient treatment, ensuring that patients with flu are admitted to, and cared for in the right place must always come first - the clinical needs of our patients is paramount".

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The heads of accident and emergency (A&E) departments of hospitals all across England and Wales have warned Theresa May that more people are dying prematurely in the corridors of the A&E departments than before.

The letter states that the NHS has, "insufficient hospital and community beds and staff of all disciplines especially at the front door to cope with our ageing population's health needs".

The consultants draw on their own experiences - including patients dying prematurely, waiting times of 12 hours and more than 50 patients waiting for a hospital bed.

Family doctors also saw more than 20,000 patients with flu as the Royal College of Global Positioning System said that cases had "taken off".

"I've heard an overwhelming number of reports from clinicians about how flu and respiratory illness, combined with other winter pressures and exceptional and sustained levels of demand, is changing the way they are treating patients arriving at A&E".

"However, this winter has seen an increasing amount of severely ill patients that require admission to hospital, and despite the plans put in place our bed occupancy levels reached 100 per cent on two occasions".

'Thousands of patients are waiting in ambulances for hours as the hospitals lack adequate space'.

'The NHS today has launched their national flu programme and I would encourage people to act on the advice that the NHS is giving and also encourage NHS staff who haven't had the flu vaccine yet to have that vaccine'.

The Royal College of Surgeons called December's A&E performance "disappointing". That has gone to 107 per 100,000 - that is four times the level of flu in this week previous year.

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