Winter A&E delays prove growing pressure on hospitals

Earlier this week research revealed that the NHS has been unable to meet its target to treat A&E patients within 4 hours for the last 17 consecutive weeks as an extra 47,000 patients have had to wait beyond this target time compared to last year, whilst an extra 10,400 patients were made to wait 30 minutes or more outside A&Es in the back of ambulances because hospitals were too full.

A Labour Freedom of Information request sent to England’s ambulance trusts revealed some patients waiting outside hospital doors in ambulances for over 5 hours.

Local Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, said:
“These findings echo my concerns I have previously raised about waiting times at James Cook University Hospital and it is clear that A&E services have been under an extraordinary amount of pressure this winter. When mixed with the cuts and the massive reorganisation the NHS is going through it is a disaster waiting to happen.

“I’m well aware of the hard work staff at James Cook do and it clear this is also a national issue – A&Es are simply not coping and these figures show that waiting times are at their longest in almost a decade. Hospitals simply don’t have enough staff and there are growing concerns for patient safety. Almost 5000 nursing jobs have been lost since he entered Downing Street – to go on like this is a risk to health of patients.

“The Government must take urgent action to ensure all A&Es have enough staff to provide safe standards of patient care and meet national standards.”

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