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NHS emergency care in crisis all year round

The NHS is facing a crisis in emergency care all year round, doctors have said.

England's emergency ca..

By admin , in England , at November 7, 2018

The NHS is facing a crisis in emergency care all year round, doctors have said.

England's emergency care services are performing as badly in the summer as they have in previous winters, according to the British Medical Association.

The BMA examined monthly data on emergency admissions, trolley waits for more than four hours and A&E patients seen within four hours.

They compared winter months and summer months in England from 2011 onwards.

They found that the rate of compliance with the four-hour waiting target was lower last summer than it was during the winters of 2011 to 2015.

Also, 200,000 more patients waited on a trolley for more than four hours last winter than during winter 2011.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of council at the BMA, blamed funding and staffing shortages along with increased demand.

He said: "These figures lay bare the long-term underfunding of emergency care services in England that have experienced years of declining budgets and staff shortages at a time when patient demand has rocketed.

"It is shocking that the number of patients waiting more than four hours for treatment on trolleys has increased seven-fold during the winter months since 2011, with almost 200,000 more patients left in this appalling situation.

"Compliance with the four-hour waiting time target has dropped 11% since 2011 and even during the supposedly quieter summer period there have been similar declines.

"Most worryingly, the pressure on the NHS has developed into an all year crisis."

Dr Simon Walsh, an emergency care doctor and member of the BMA's consultants committee, added: "Tens of thousands of patients are being left in crowded, cramped corridors, waiting for treatment while others are having to endure longer waits to even see a doctor or nurse."

More from NHS

An NHS England spokesman said: "The NHS's extensive planning for winter is already well under way, with access to clinical advice through NHS 111 and evening and weekend GP appointments improving people's access to care, plus action by hospitals and local councils to free up beds by reducing long stays.

"Staff getting vaccinated against flu will also help reduce the pressure on services over winter."

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