An A&E doctor has said sorry to his patients for the ‘third world conditions’ at his hospital.
Dr Richard Fawcett, a consultant working at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, said he was heartbroken to see so many frail and elderly patients languishing in corridors.
On Twitter, he apologised to patients in the Stoke area for ‘3rd world conditions of the dept due to #overcrowding’.
Meanwhile the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) and the Society for Acute Medicine both issued stark warnings over increased pressure to services.
Emergency medicine consultant Dr Adrian Boyle, chairman for quality at the RCEM, said: ‘Everybody is struggling at the moment.’
Dr Boyle said every type 1 emergency department that he knows of is under serious and sustained pressure.
He added: ‘It feels worse than the equivalent period last year.
‘This means that ambulances are waiting outside emergency departments waiting to offload, the emergency departments are full, clinical staff are working extremely hard to try and look after these patients, often having to treat patients in corridors, people suffering lengthy delays.
‘And we know that excessive crowding within emergency departments is associated with avoidable deaths.
‘If you are a doctor working in an emergency department in the UK every day you are worried about crowding.’
‘This is the whole system. Hospitals are full and this means emergency departments consequently are full.’
Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, added: ‘The position at the moment is as bad as I’ve ever known.
‘Pre-Christmas 43 trusts were more than 98% full despite 3,000 extra beds in use. I expect this to be at least doubled, maybe trebled today.
‘We are starting to report Australasian flu is beginning to appear which is worrying.
‘We are seeing a lot of flu-like symptoms but as yet do not know if it is “normal” or the Australasian strain.’
University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust’s medical director Dr John Oxtoby said: ‘The health system in the North Midlands was under severe and sustained pressure over the Christmas period and this challenging situation has continued into the New Year.
‘During this time the emergency departments will continue to see the sickest patients first, which is unfortunately leading to long waits for other patients.’