This article was published on January 12th, 2015
A Mutating flu epidemic and an ageing population is putting a huge strain on Hospital A&E waiting times. Hospitals are struggling to cope with the sick as waiting times in England are announced as being the worst in a decade.
Several hospital trusts have declared “major incidents” in their A&E departments and the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, says health bosses are “running just to keep still”. To date, 14 hospitals have advised people to only come to A&E in an extreme emergency due to the sheer pressure of demand.
University Hospitals of North Midlands in Staffordshire, Gloucester Royal, Cheltenham General Hospital and Scarborough Hospital are four Hospital Trusts who have activated their “major incident” status to help cope with patient admissions.
Major A&E departments appear to be struggling the most with regards to % of patients seen within the target waiting time of 4 hours including; Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust (83.4 per cent), Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (80.5 per cent), Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust (79.1 per cent), and North Bristol NHS Trust (82.7 per cent).
The president of the College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Clifford Mann, said A&E departments are dealing with 20,000 more patients a week than the same time a year ago.
The “weekly intolerable pressure is starting to have an effect on staff”, he told the BBC.
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