Once again the immense pressure on the NHS hit the headlines recently following severe criticism by the President of the Royal Society of Acute Medicine, which predominately represents Doctors working in A&E.
Concerns continue to escalate about the lack of staff and resources in Accident and Emergency departments, which can no longer deal with the mass volumes of patients attending hospital. The recent flu epidemic has added to the pressure and seen even greater numbers of people requiring treatment at A&E.
Dr Nick Scriven, President of the Royal Society of Acute medicine stated:
“We are seeing a sustained period of exceptionally high demand on a service that is only being kept safe by dedicated staff going beyond all normal limits. This is sustainable only for a week or two and we are now entering the third week of this crisis which will not relent for weeks yet even if admission rates reduce such is the crowding in our hospitals.”
Recent NHS statistics showed the worry extent of the crisis facing the NHS this winter, which continues to mount:
- More than 11,000 patients had to be cared for by ambulance crews last week
- Ambulance crews have had to divert to other A&E departments 280 times since December
- Hospital bed occupancy remains at 94.8%, much higher than the “deemed safe” limit, of 85%.
- The number of beds closed due to patients suffering with Norovirus, rose from 747 to 859 each day
We appear to be witnessing unprecedented demands on our A&E departments and the NHS in general. Hospitals and GP surgeries are being inundated with patients, many of whom are seriously ill. The current situation exposes risk, not only to patients but also to NHS staff. The working conditions combined with the long arduous hours working exposes staff to illness and stress at work. The NHS Trusts, as employers, have an active obligation to support and protect staff from these risks
Adding to the concerns, Dr Scriven, commented; “The NHS and individual trusts must now give thoughts on how they can help their staff cope and not succumb themselves to illness brought on by exhaustion, which is now a real danger.”
If you feel you have been mistreated or subjected to poor treatment whilst at A&E, or any other form of medical treatment, contact our specialists on 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry online.