Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Hospitals to delay routine operations due to winter pressures on NHS

Hospitals to delay routine operations due to winter pressures on NHS

The trust will instead contact patients directly if their appointment or operation is cancelled.

'And that, I think, in the end, is better for people.

"It breaks my heart to see so many frail and elderly patients on the corridor for hours and hours".

A&E is really busy so it is important that patients only attend if it is an emergency or a life threatening condition.

Average bed occupancy for the winter so far now stands at 93.8 per cent, compared to 92.1 per cent at the same stage past year - a winter which was considered exceptionally busy.

On December 11, the busiest night to date, 18 major hospitals in 12 NHS trusts across England did not have a single spare bed.

And so it is left to doctors like me to assess, care for and treat patients as best we can, alongside apologising for the failings of the health service.

The shortage in hospital beds is not the only issue, however, as medical institutions were warned by the National Emergency Pressures Panel (NEPP) to also change their approach to cases which do not require patients to remain in the hospital overnight.

Meanwhile, essential operations are being put back. He has an abdominal aortic aneurysm where an artery could burst at any time - with potentially fatal consequences.

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"It's not the fault of the hospital trusts across Lancashire".

His wife complained: 'He is living on a time bomb.

"I am extremely proud of the outstanding service they provide and can not thank colleagues enough for their dedication, additional hours worked and the care they provide to each other, as well as our patients, when the going gets tough". It's unbelievable and disgraceful'.

She said nearly 8m hospital appointments were missed every year - not including appointments cancelled in advance - which equated to nearly £1bn, with each outpatient appointment costing the NHS about £120 in 2016-17.

"If people do come to A&E and it is not an emergency they will have a long wait as we will prioritise the sickest patients".

According to Dr Nick Scriven from the Society for Acute Medicine, the problem "is as bad as I've ever known".

"With all but five hospitals in England running at above the recommended safe bed occupancy level of 85 percent and nearly a fifth running at 99 percent, the system has little to no capacity to handle a major flu outbreak or spike in demand caused by a cold snap over the coming weeks", Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, recently warned.

As disaster strikes the health system, shadow health minister Justin Madders has accused Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt of "doing a Grayling" - referencing Transport minister Chris Grayling, for being completely unavailable for interview on the day his portfolio comes under extreme national scrutiny.

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