Ops delayed in NHS winter crisis

Friday, 12 Jan, 2018

NHS England director Bruce Keogh says the pressures may increase because of "early signs" of spreading flu. It will see up to 50,000 routine operations axed.

Under NHS rules men and women are supposed to be treated on different wards and breaches can lead to fines.

Meanwhile a number of ambulance services are also under severe pressure, with two even resorting to taxis to ferry patients to hospital.

Dr Fawcett has now blamed the crisis, which saw some patients have to wait 12 hours to see a doctor, on overcrowding.

The advice comes as Milton Keynes University Hospital is telling people only to attend for emergency treatment. "And there's more flu around than usual", said Prof Chris Moulton, the vice-president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), which represents A&E doctors.

Meanwhile, in Scotland there has been a 20% jump in A&E attendances compared with the previous year, prompting an increase in patients waiting more than four hours, and in Northern Ireland the Antrim Area Hospital has been forced to bring in St John ambulance volunteers to help with a surge in demand.

The UK's National Health Service (NHS) could permanently introduce "drunk tanks" throughout the country to alleviate the pressure put on A&E departments by those who have consumed too much alcohol.

"Instead of running scared, Jeremy Hunt must answer for his party's sustained underfunding of our NHS which has already caused such misery right across the country".

The board's office-based employees were asked to consider volunteering to help their colleagues in hospitals and GP practices by taking on cleaning and administrative roles over the next five days.

Dr Anthea Mowat, chairwoman of the British Medical Association's representative body, said: "The NHS is in the grips of another winter crisis, as patients face long delays in care, operations are cancelled and staff find themselves working under extremely hard circumstances". "This is the busiest week of the year for the NHS".

Cancer operations and procedures that are time-critical will continue as usual, officials emphasized.

'Although if you are someone whose operation has been delayed I don't belittle that for one moment and indeed I apologise to everyone who that has happened to'.

The MP for South West Surrey also paid tribute to the NHS staff working in "very tough conditions".

"It is absolutely not what I want", he told Sky News. We are asking local people to use the service carefully so it can best support those who need it most - for example, people with serious injuries, chest pain or significant blood loss.

"But I recognise for those people that have had their operations postponed this is disappointing, it's frustrating".