With hospitals coming under huge strain, Accident and Emergency departments are so busy that they are having to divert ambulances to other sites because they are unable to cope.
In just the last one week, 20 NHS Accident and Emergency departments in England issued diverts, with patients taken elsewhere. The A&E departments that are still admitting new patients are experiencing delays as over 25% of ambulances have to wait for at least half an hour to handover patients.
The heads of the Hospitals said they are very concerned about the situation.
Although all areas of the country are under immense pressure, NHS bosses particularly in West Yorkshire and the south central area of England – covering Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire and Berkshire- have reported severe strain.
This is partly because there are high numbers of Covid patients currently in hospital. This week, Covid cases have exceeded 16,000 in England alone and averaging 20,000 in the whole of the UK.
A recent statistic showed that though there was an incline in the number of admitted patients, more than half of the patients came to the hospital for other health issues but happened to have the COVID virus. This supports the claim from Hospitals saying that there is an increasing number of people coming for other conditions such as flu.
Interestingly, the delays currently faced at A&E departments are worse than what was experienced in the winter before the pandemic hit. That winter was considered the most challenging for many years.
A representative of the hospital Saffron Cordery, said: “We’re very concerned about the real pressures across the whole health and care system. “A very high number of hospital beds are occupied, and combined with staff absences and severe workforce shortages, this means that trusts can’t recover care backlogs as quickly as they want to. “Ambulance services are doing everything they can in these extremely difficult circumstances, but the extra pressures are leading to growing delays to handovers to busy emergency departments. “This means that ambulances aren’t able to get back out into the community as quickly as they would like.”
Prof Stephen Powis NHS England medical director says that the figures show how busy NHS staff are currently. He also said that there are high levels of bed occupancy even as staff sickness absences had been growing for 10 weeks. He also encouraged eligible persons to come forward for their spring Covid boosters.
Patients taken to the A&E departments are most times in critical condition and need urgent medical assistance. However, current trends have shown that most times patients experience delays and sometimes are diverted to other sites farther away after hours of delay.
The NHS has a responsibility to provide adequate and standard care to patients and when this is not done leading to avoidable complications, injuries, harm or even death, medical negligence claims can be made.
Therefore, if you or your loved one has been forced to wait hours without being attended to at the A&E, leading to preventable complications or death of a loved one, you can make accident and emergency claims.
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