Hospitals in England take drastic measures to cope with winter pressure

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Hospitals in England take drastic measures to cope with winter pressure

In 2015, the health secretary Jeremy Hunt said that charges were a possibility but this was later ruled out by David Cameron.

NHS patients missed eight million hospital appointments in England alone a year ago, costing almost £1billion of taxpayers’ cash.

In a drastic step to try to free up hospital staff and beds, NHS England had also said that the deferral of non-urgent elective care – such as hip or knee replacements – should be extended until at least the end of the month.

They say Outpatient appointments will be going ahead as planned – if this changes, patients will be contacted individually, those due to undergo planned surgery should assume it is going ahead unless contacted otherwise and people who need urgent medical advice should phone NHS111 to be directed to the best place to get the care they need.

Pressures on the NHS have escalated rapidly over the festive period with hospitals experiencing significant bed shortages.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May acknowledged the news was frustrating for affected patients but said the NHS was “better prepared for this winter than ever before”.

The board’s office-based employees were asked to consider volunteering to help their colleagues in hospitals and GP practices by taking on cleaning and administrative roles over the next five days.

NHS England also said sanctions for mixed sex accommodation breaches should be temporarily lifted. “That is why we are making these further recommendations today”.

Growing numbers of hospitals are struggling to cope with the onset of the NHS’s winter crisis, with one A&E doctor apologising to patients for the “third world conditions” in his overcrowded unit.

There would also be more resources for ambulatory care and clinics as alternatives to hospital admissions, and a twice-daily review of all patients to facilitate discharge. “There is increased potential for patient care and safety to be compromised”. “I’m afraid there are serious issues with capacity, far too many bed closures that have happened and probably not enough money that’s gone in over a number of years now to keep up with the sheer scale of the increase in demand and complexity”.

We have been in touch with the Chief Executive and are assured that this is an exceptional and temporary situation due to a prevalence of acute health conditions this winter.

Official figures show that 7.9m NHS appointments were missed previous year, which at an average cost of £120 per slot indicates that around £950m was wasted.

The specialist team is being established after the percentage of patients at the hospital’s Emergency Department treated within the target time of four hours dropped below 70 per cent in December, compared to the Government’s target of 95 per cent.

“With the NHS coming under pressure as never before, we are asking patients and the public to use the health service responsibly to help ensure that care is readily available for everyone who needs it”, she said.

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