Saturday, 19 March 2016

The photo that shames Jeremy Hunt: Patients queue for nearly three hours in overstretched A&E

A source said paramedics had to stand in the corridor with patients for nearly three hours. Handovers are meant to take 15 minutes.

Royal Liverpool Hospital's A&E department showing large queues

This shocking image of paramedics helping patients queue for nearly three hours in a hospital corridor reveals the scale of England's A&E crisis.
Jeremy Hunt has vowed to invest billions in the health service - but hospitals are also having to make £22billion of "efficiency savings".
Today MPs on the Public Accounts committee warn hospitals are struggling to reach the Health Secretary's "seriously flawed" target.
They add spending on temporary staff rose 24% between 2012–13 and 2014–15 in another hammer blow to the embattled Health Secretary.
150 NHS trusts had a deficit of £843million in 2014-15, up from £91million in 2013-14. It could hit £2.5billion this year.
Nowhere is the strain clearer than in our photo of the Royal Liverpool Hospital A&E.
There were 12 ambulance crews waiting to hand over their patients to staff when it was taken, a source told the Liverpool Echo.
Stretched: Hospital directors urged patients to consider other options if they can
Some paramedics had to stand in line for two hours and 45 minutes before busy hospital staff were ready to take charge of the patients they had brought in, the source added.
NHS targets say an ambulance handover should not normally take longer than 15 minutes.
Dr Peter Williams, medical director at the Royal, thanked the paramedics and said 'delayed discharges', commonly known as bed-blocking, were the cause of the delays.
He said: “We frequently have a significant number of patients in our hospital beds who are fit to be discharged.
“But their discharge is delayed as they have complex care requirements that must be arranged first.
“We need people to support us to deliver care to their loved ones when they need it most.
“Supporting us and social care teams in discharging your loved one from hospital is the best thing you can do for them.”
He added a consultant was on duty that night to make sure patients were seen in order of priority.
But the hospital - in common with most stretched NHS Trusts - also urged patients to consider their options before rushing to A&E, such as out-of-hours GP surgeries and pharmacies.
  • 00:25, 15 MAR 2016
  • UPDATED 00:27, 15 MAR 2016
  • BY JOSHUA TAYLOR 
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