Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Operations cancelled amid sharp spike in flu cases

GETTY Millions have used fake EU health insurance cards to scam the NHS out of millions GETTY Millions have used fake EU health insurance cards to scam the NHS out of millions
Conrad Doyle | 14 January, 2018, 14:17

This is likely to affect around 50,000 procedures in England.

New NHS England data shows that 1,814 out of 7,193 patients (25%) were forced to wait for at least 30 minutes in ambulances in hospital vehicle parks, or with paramedics in corridors, at Ipswich, West Suffolk (Bury St Edmunds), and Colchester hospitals in December.

'I came on to shift yesterday afternoon and there were patients literally everywhere, ' he said.

"There needs to be a fundamental review of the sort of health and social care we want in this country". Hospitals are reporting growing chaos, with a spike in winter flu leaving frail patients facing 12-hour waits, and some units running out of corridor space. It was an impossible situation'.

The NHS trust which runs the Horton General Hospital dropped down from the highest pressure level today (Friday, January 5) with A&E struggling to cope.

"You may have heard about cancellation of out-patient clinics elsewhere".

And the North East Ambulance Service said it had been hit by "unprecedented levels of demand" over Christmas and New Year, calling for patients to find alternative transport options - "such as a family member".

According to the statistics, 3,426 ambulances took patients to accident and emergency hospitals across the county between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. "It would be fair to say that the civil servants are already moving forward on transformation of the health and social care system in Northern Ireland, but, yes, if the politicians were in Stormont and if we have a health minister then we could move that forward at pace". It happens from December to February most years and these crises now appear to be as fixed as Christmas, new year and the first appearance of salt-spreading lorries.

GETTY The NHS is currently facing a winter crisis
GETTY The NHS is currently facing a winter crisis

But he said: "That doesn't mean there isn't huge pressure".

"Our staff have been working tirelessly in recent weeks and throughout the festive period to provide compassionate care for the continuously increasing number of patients who needed hospital services".

'Short-term fixes, however well meaning, will only get us so far.

NHS Providers director of policy and strategy Saffron Cordery said: "The NHS has prepared for winter as never before, and now it is clear those plans are really being put to the test".

She said: 'Can I say a huge thank you to NHS staff for their hard work, they work hard and do a fantastic job for us day in and day out all year round, but obviously there are extra pressures in winter.

He said that the Trust had received no complaints on behalf of the two patients on the floor, adding that they "may have chosen to lie down as seats were provided".

It is both shocking and depressing that once again Queen Alexandra Hospital has been placed on black alert.

The Prime Minister, on a visit to Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, said she recognised it was "difficult" for the 55,000 people who have had their operation postponed for at least a month as the NHS deals with the most urgent cases and hoped procedures could be rescheduled "as soon as possible". "This will help alleviate the chances of winter crises happening in the future".

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