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Management of winter pressures is ‘unsustainable’, says NHS Providers

Management of winter pressures is ‘unsustainable’, says NHS Providers

A record number of A&Es were forced to divert patients arriving by ambulance as hospitals continue to face unprecedented winter pressures
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A record number of A&Es were forced to divert patients arriving by ambulance as hospitals continue to face unprecedented winter pressures.

Fifty-two A&Es were forced to divert patients in the week beginning 9 January.

This figure is up from 39 in the previous week and up from 27 in the same week in 2016.

The weekly data from NHS England also found that bed occupancy rates increased by 1% to nearly 96%, while the number of trusts declaring major incidents also increased.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said NHS frontline staff “have responded way beyond the call of duty” as services face “unprecedented demand”.

However, he added that managing in this way “is unsustainable”.

He said: “These latest figures show the NHS working flat out last week to provide safe and timely care for patients in the midst of unprecedented demand.”

He added: “Anecdotally, however, trusts have told us that the extreme pressure of the first 16 days of January, reflected in these figures, has now eased over the four days and we expect this to be reflected in next week’s figures.

“We should recognise, however, that a flu outbreak or a cold snap still have the potential to immediately reverse this improving position.”

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