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NHS consultants warn PM of ‘patients dying in corridors’

NHS consultants warn PM of ‘patients dying in corridors’

Consultants have warned the Prime Minister of ‘patients dying in hospital corridors’.

Consultants have warned the Prime Minister of ‘patients dying in hospital corridors’.

In a letter addressed to Theresa May, 68 consultants in emergency departments described their concerns over ‘the current level of safety compromise’ within trusts.

‘Serious safety concerns’

The letter reads: ‘We feel compelled to speak out in support of our hardworking and dedicated nursing, medical and allied health professional colleagues and for the very serious concerns we have for the safety of our patients. 

‘This current level of safety compromise is at times intolerable, despite the best efforts of staff.'

They reported that more than 120 patients were ‘managed’ in corridors every day, with ‘some dying prematurely.’

Speaking in the House of Commons on 8 January, Philip Dunne, former minister of state for health, said that ‘we have done more this year in preparing and planning earlier than ever before’, meaning ‘the NHS is better able to respond to pressure when it arises’. 

But even with the extra £335m to help Trusts cope with winter pressures, the consultants agreed that ‘these plans have failed to deliver anywhere near what was needed’.

‘Insufficient beds’

They said: ‘The facts remain however that the NHS is severely and chronically underfunded.

‘We have insufficient hospital and community beds and staff of all disciplines especially at the front door to cope with our ageing population’s health needs.’

Various studies have showed that crowded emergency departments lead to poorer clinical performance and adverse outcomes, such as higher mortality rates.

Latest NHS data showed that during the first week of January, there was a 95% bed occupancy rate in Trusts.

Commenting on the data, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, British Medical Association (BMA) council chair, said: ‘Behind each statistic is a patient waiting longer for care, often in distress, and doctors working under impossible conditions, exhausted and frustrated that they can’t provide the compassionate and quality care they want to for their patients.

‘Hospitals exist to treat the ill, to make people better, and yet doctors are reporting that patients are dying in hospital corridors and hospital leaders are warning of a watershed moment for the NHS.

‘Despite the current pressures, I believe our health service is one of the best in the world, but with funding lagging behind that of other comparable European countries we urgently need politicians of all parties to come together and agree a long-term funding plan for the NHS.

The letter can be read here.









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