Hospitals in England take drastic measures to cope with winter pressure


"They are much more likely to have a poorer outcome and even die as a result of their experience in the emergency department".

Patients are being urged to attend hospitals if they're seriously unwell, but not to contact them to ask about the cancelling of treatment.

The chief executive of the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, has said that due to the vast pressure that staff are facing, they are having to delay non-urgent elective operations.

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Implementing front-door triage in emergency rooms, opening a consulting line to help general practitioners decide whether patients should be sent to the hospital, enrolling auxiliary medical personnel (including physiotherapists) to help speed-up patient recovery, and other emergency measures will be deployed in the following weeks at NEPP's recommendation.

One hospital doctor, Chris Turner, tweeted: "It's 0400 and I've been lying awake for the last hour worrying about how we manage the department when my shift starts in 12 hours time". The hospital said that it had been "extremely busy". "This is just delaying problems for later on".

They are being dispatched in fire engines or cars to treat patients who have suffered cardiac arrests, strokes, fits or heavy bleeding.

He said the lack of beds meant the practice of "boarding" - where patients in trolleys are placed in the middle of wards or in corridors - was now common.

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The president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Taj Hassan, said: "In increasing numbers of departments, conditions are just terrible and staff are stretched to the limit just trying to deliver safe care".

Some ambulance services resorted to pleading with relatives of the infirm to transport them to hospital themselves, in order to ease the demand placed upon paramedics.

Non urgent procedures and some outpatient appointments have been cancelled until at least next month to help A&E departments cope with winter demand.

Their warning coincides with a warning from NHS Providers, that represents 98% of hospital, mental health, community and ambulance service trusts in England, which says the health service can no longer deliver adequate care within current funding.

"Mid Yorkshire is no better or worse than anywhere else", he said.

Elective or non-urgent procedures were due to resume at the three hospitals on Wednesday but have now been postponed for the rest of the week due to the increased pressure on services.

Only seven NHS hospital trusts out of 153 have had average bed occupancy below 85 per cent this December - down from 17 at the same time previous year.

The drastic step is to try to free up hospital staff and beds.