Responding to the latest NHS England winter situation report which covers 17 to 30 December,Royal College of Nursing Deputy Director of Nursing, Stephanie Aiken, said:
“Today’s figures confirm that almost 10 per cent of patients taken to hospital by ambulance in December were stuck outside A&E for longer than the 30 minute target.
"Having to wait outside in an ambulance in this way because A&E is already dangerously overcrowded is distressing not just for patients but also for staff, who can’t provide proper care. In addition, although bed occupancy rates were low on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day when patients understandably wanted to be at home with their families, they were higher than the 85% limit regarded safe by experts on every other day of the last two weeks.
"It’s very worrying that we’re seeing so much overcrowding in A&E departments and wards before cold weather has hit in earnest, and while flu and norovirus levels are still relatively low. The forthcoming Long Term Plan for the NHS must ensure sufficient funding to make winter overcrowding a thing of the past”.
- To see the NHS England winter sit rep reports, click here.