Patients face “intolerable” conditions and are being left to die in hospital corridors, doctors say.
In a letter signed by 68 A&E doctors, they explicitly reject the PM’s claims that the NHS is well prepared for the winter and warned that patient safety is being compromised because “the NHS is severely and chronically underfunded” and there is a lack of hospital and community beds, in a letter to Theresa May.
“There is no question that a huge amount of effort and energy has been spent both locally and nationally on drawing up plans for coping with NHS winter pressures. Our experience at the front line is that these plans have failed to deliver anywhere near what was needed” they write.
The physicians went on to describe conditions where last week “over 120 patients a day are managed in corridors, some dying prematurely” and the four-hour performance target was only reached 45-75 percent of the time. Thousands of patients are also being left to wait in ambulances, putting further strain on other areas of the emergency services.
Meanwhile, hospital bosses have warned that they have run out of beds, with over 97 percent of hospital trusts describing an unsafe number of patients on their wards.
Despite the deepening crisis in the health service, May decided to expand health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s ministerial brief to also include social care.
Hunt has overseen the worst deterioration in standards in NHS history, where he has constantly fought with doctors and nurses over patient care, and huge real-terms cuts to health budgets under the Conservative’s misguided reforms and austerity agenda.