Published: Fri, February 09, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Jeremy Hunt finally says sorry as NHS patients suffer 'worst ever' winter

Jeremy Hunt finally says sorry as NHS patients suffer 'worst ever' winter

Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "The human stories from the worst winter crisis on record have shocked the nation".

Many patients also faced long delays as they were handed over from ambulance to A&E, with nearly 30,000 people waiting over an hour since the beginning of this winter.

Mr Hunt said: 'I completely recognise the pressures that they have been going through and when they signed up to go into medicine they knew there was going to be pressurised moments.

"All of this points to the need for a long-term funding settlement for the NHS and social care to be reached - one that enables local care services to deliver the standards that patients deserve".

He said the growing number of trolley waits showed "corridors had become the new emergency wards".

"It follows the Prime Minister's weird comment last month that cancelled operations were "part of the plan" for the NHS and that "nothing is perfect".

The figure was considerably short of the 95% target, but still an improvement on the 85.1% from December.

Almost 7000 patients were seen within four hours or less out of a total of 7,500 people who attended the Bournemouth's A&E department.

Governmental targets stipulate that 95% of patients should be seen and treated or discharged within four-hours, however, accident and emergency departments in England only managed an average of 77.1%.

GETTY    
     MADE TO WAIT Just 85.3% of patients were seen in A&E departments within waiting-time target
GETTY MADE TO WAIT Just 85.3% of patients were seen in A&E departments within waiting-time target

This figure has only ever been beaten twice, including in January 2017, when the Red Cross dubbed the unprecedented pressures a "humanitarian crisis".

Jeremy Hunt has admitted the NHS is experiencing "probably the worst" winter crisis ever, but suggested staff knew what to expect when they signed up.

Hospital emergency departments have now had to divert patients elsewhere 287 times since the NHS began recording winter performance data on 20 November.

In January, there were 2,000,449 A&E admissions recorded across England - but 294,000 weren't seen within the four hour limit.

The county's A&E departments are still struggling to meet government targets, it has been revealed. "It is time to face facts and offer sustainable funding increases to the health service".

'All parts of the system need investment in order to maintain and improve the quality of care that patients need and deserve'.

Figures released by NHS England also show that 81,000 patients had to wait on trolleys in A&E for more than four hours, and more than 1,000 waited for more than 12 hours. Over a thousand of those had to wait a shocking 12 hours or more. However, both the Bournemouth and Poole Trusts are not far behind this national target.

A spokesperson for the Royal College of Surgeons added: "These performance figures show just how tough it was for hospitals this winter, with further lengthening of waiting times in A&E despite cancellation of planned surgery to free up capacity. We now do not have adequate funding or capacity in our health or social care services and we need to urgently find a long-term solution".

Like this: