Hospitals across England are facing record delays in discharging patients, the latest figures show.
There were nearly 185,000 days of delays in the month of July, up 25% on the same month last year, according to NHS England.
The delays were the result of lack of available care in the community due to government cuts, which means that vulnerable patients are left waiting on hospital wards while arrangements are made for them to be safely discharged.
The delays are the latest target to be missed by NHS England, with A&E wait times, cancer care, and ambulance response times declining in recent years.
The A&E target, which was reduced under the last government, has still only been hit twice in the last two years.
Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have called on the government to increase funding for the NHS as promised in the Conservative manifesto, but they’re pleas have fallen on deaf ears, with the government continuing their ideological plans for austerity.
Dr Mark Holland, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said:
“This data reflects a system which is close to breaking down.
“For every 100 people who come to A&E, around 30 are admitted and, of these, 20 come under acute medicine. That number is increasing and our front of house workforce is depleted.
“However, performance is most significantly hampered due to our inability to discharge people at the back door of our hospitals. Failure to get people home is, in my view, a national emergency.”
The British Medical Association public health committee chair Iain Kennedy said:
“Austerity damages health and had resulted in reductions to child welfare programmes, support for older people and unemployment benefits.”
The decline in the provision of health services in England has come under the stewardship of Jeremy Hunt, who remains locked in a protracted battle with junior doctors who recently announced a further series of strikes over the contract he intends to impose on them, which they say in unfair and unsafe for patients.
Despite his continued failures as Secretary of State for Health, Hunt has maintained his position under successive Conservative governments, prime minister Theresa May continues to describe him as an “excellent health secretary”.