Medicine

Jeremy Hunt Insists The NHS Is NOT In Crisis

Jeremy Hunt Insists The NHS Is NOT In Crisis

Pressures on the NHS have escalated rapidly over the festive period with hospitals experiencing significant bed shortages.

In an unprecedented move on Tuesday, NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh ordered the cancellation of all non-urgent surgery until at least February.

In October, the Peterborough Telegraph revealed that a patient at the hospital's Emergency Department was left waiting 24 hours to be admitted - the second longest wait in the country in 2016/17.

At the Royal Stoke University Hospital, where Dr Fawcett works, campaigners have blamed a lack of beds for the growing crisis.

The drastic step is to try to free up hospital staff and beds.

"Every winter the NHS comes under intense pressure, this is something that can be planned for, but ministers have spectacularly failed to rise to the challenge this year".

Prof Hinchliffe added: "If you are not seriously ill, A&E may not be the best place for you to get the treatment you need and you may wait for a long time".

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Office workers have been volunteering to help out colleagues in hospitals and GP practices by taking on administrative and cleaning roles over the next five days. "This is the busiest week of the year for the NHS".

Officials have estimated this could lead to up to 55,000 deferred operations, although cancer operations and time-critical procedures should go ahead as planned, NHS England said.

'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'. "Staff morale is at an all-time low and I truly feel sorry for these dedicated professionals who really care and are doing a tremendous job in hard circumstances".

But Sarah Wollaston, who chairs the health select committee, said people whose operations had been cancelled would describe it as a crisis.

He thanked NHS staff for their "heroic" job, saying they were working "beyond the call of duty".

He added: "There's a great desire to get politicians to issue certain words, if you want me to say there's "extreme pressure" then I will".

A number of hospital trusts have declared Operational Pressures Escalation Level 4 (OPEL4) which means: "Pressure in the local health and social care system continues to escalate leaving organisations unable to deliver comprehensive care".

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