Winter flu will likely be 'key issue' for NHS over coming weeks

Winter flu will likely be 'key issue' for NHS over coming weeks

Some 95% of NHS hospital beds in acute wards in England were full last week, the highest since 2010.

Chris Hopson of NHS Providers had told media: "Too often, in too many places, standards of care are compromised and patients' safety put at risk".

"We realise that this can cause extra stress and upset when patients are already very unwell".

Nicola Sturgeon said the rate of flu infections was now four times higher than a year ago, with 107 Scots per 100,000 of the population suffering from the virus in the first week of January.

Ambulance handover times have improved at NNUH since a number of delays on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with no delays of more than 30 minutes since Boxing Day.

It has been sent to Downing Street as the latest A&E waiting times figures show a further drop in performance at the region's hospitals in December.

"I've heard an overwhelming number of reports from clinicians about how flu and respiratory illness, combined with other winter pressures and exceptional and sustained levels of demand, is changing the way they are treating patients arriving at A&E".

The letter, signed by consultants in charge of emergency departments in 68 acute hospitals across England and Wales, acknowledged the best efforts of staff, trusts and clinical commissioning groups.

He said he was "so fed up of the lies" and claims the NHS is fine that he wanted to go public with his dad's story, adding: "I am lucky it was just the flu and cuts and bruises, as if it was anything else he could have died waiting that long on an ambulance".

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A hospital spokesman said: "We would like to extend our honest apologies to Esme Thomas and her family, and to all our patients who have had to spend much longer in A&E than normal waiting for a hospital bed".

"Some of our own personal experiences range from over 120 patients a day managed in corridors, some dying prematurely. An average of 10 to 12 hours from decision to admit a patient until they are transferred to a bed..." states the petition.

She said that the Department was aware of the "great deal of pressure in A&E departments" and said they "are grateful to all NHS staff for their incredible work in challenging circumstances".

The Scottish Ambulance Service reported an nearly 40 per cent increase in the number of calls on Hogmanay alone while NHS 24 received more than 45,000 calls in the four days over Christmas.

Responding to new A&E figures Dr Chaand Nagpaul, British Medical Association council chair, said: "Doctors will be horrified but not surprised by these figures".

And patients in ambulances also faced long waits, with one in eight left outside for half an hour or longer.

Nearly 15% of England's A&E patients waited more than four hours to be seen last month - the joint-worst figure on record - as senior doctors warn of patients dying in corridors.

Our experience at the front line is that these plans have failed to deliver anywhere near what was needed.

A survey of more than 1,600 adults in England found 9% said they personally had been recently affected by cancelled operations, cancelled appointments or long waiting times.

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