The ongoing “crisis” in A&E admissions / winter pressures has caused a number of hospitals across the country to declare “major incidents” (although some of these incidents were short-lived and have since been lifted). The list of the hospitals most overwhelmed by the growing influx of predominantly frail elderly patients with complex needs, (as it stood early January 7th 2014) included:
- Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
- Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals.
- Cheltenham General Hospital.
- County Hospital, Stafford.
- Croydon University Hospital.
- Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.
- Peterborough City Hospital.
- Royal Bolton Hospital.
- Royal Stoke University Hospital.
- Walsall Manor Hospital.
‘Major incidents’ remain at hospitals in England. London: BBC News / BBC Health News, January 6th 2015.
Further BBC News analysis:
Triggle, N. (2015). A&E: Does missing the target matter? London: BBC Health News, January 6th 2015.
NHS England Funding Allocations
NHS England has ongoing (previously reported) plans to ease these pressures on hospitals, which are outlined more detail in the following piece.
“Robust and detailed joint planning between hospitals, GPs, CCGs, community services and local councils has taken place across the country. All relevant agencies have come together in local ‘System Resilience Groups’ to decide locally how best to use their extra funding”.
Winter NHS services: where the extra funding is going. London: NHS England, January 6th 2015.
Seemingly oblivious of (or unimpressed by) this planning, Labour has called for the government to hold an urgent summit on how to alleviate pressure on A&E services:
Labour seeks summit to find A&E ‘fix’. London: BBC Health News, January 7th 2015.
Today in Parliament:
Political row deepens over A&E problems. London: BBC Health News, January 7th 2015.
Further analysis of the likely cause(s), and ramifications, of the problem from BBC News:
- Lack of staff.
- NHS 111 Helpline.
- Cuts to social care.
- GP access getting more difficult.
- Ageing population.
- Money is tight.
Triggle, N. (2015). Six reasons A&Es are struggling. London: BBC Health News, January 7th 2015.
Pym, H. (2015). NHS: A testing week for the health service. London: BBC Health News, January 9th 2015.
Triggle, N. (2015). Why hospitals have reached gridlock. London: BBC Health News, January 12th 2015.
June 2017 Update: Nothing Changes For the Better
Pym, H. (2017). NHS – planning for winter already. London: BBC Health News, June 28th 2017.
Winter Pressures Continue Beyond Winter (Winter Re-Defined?)
A medical incident officer was called upon by West Midlands Ambulance Service following delays in treating A&E patients at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
Paduano, M. (2015). Disaster doctor sent to under-pressure Worcestershire Royal. Birmingham (Hereford & Worcester): BBC Midlands Health News, April 17th 2015.
Further A&E and NHS 111-Related Statistics
The number of A&E visits in England increased by over 400,000 during 2014, the Commons Health Select Committee has been told.
Gallagher, J. [and] Triggle, N. (2015). More than 400,000 extra A&E visits. London: BBC Health News, January 14th 2014.
A&E attendances and emergency admissions, week ending 04 January. London: NHS England, January 9th 2015.
NHS 111 Statistics: November 2014. London: NHS England, January 9th 2015.
Major incidents at hospitals persist:
‘Major incidents’ remain at hospitals in England. London: BBC Health News, April 7th 2015.
Draft NICE Guidance on A&E Safe Staffing Levels
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued draft guidance on A&E units in England, concerning how many staff are needed on duty to provide safe care. NICE recommends one nurse for every four cubicles as a general rule, but there should be up to two nurses per patient for major trauma or cardiac arrest.
Triggle, N. (2015). A&Es given safe nurse staffing rules. London: BBC Health News, January 16th 2015.
Higher Public Satisfaction with NHS (Despite Recognised Problems)
Resilient public support for the NHS:
Gallagher, J. (2015). NHS satisfaction ‘risen significantly’. London: BBC Health News, January 29th 2015.
Pym, H. (2015). How much do we love the NHS? London: BBC Health News, January 29th 2015.
June 2016 Update: Looking In Hindsight
NHS failings (and endless “Winter pressures”) are alleged to be the new norm:
Triggle, N. [and] and Dreaper, J. (2016). Endless winter in NHS ‘puts patients at risk’. London: BBC Health News, June 21st 2016.
Widespread staff defeatism and demoralisation?:
Triggle, N. (2016). Has NHS failure become the new norm? London: BBC Health News, June 21st 2016.