Finance

Hospital 'may have to cancel operations'

Hospital 'may have to cancel operations'

Capacity at NHS hospitals has been stretched more than ever over Christmas with fewer beds available across England, despite the Prime Minister claiming extra funding and extensive planning meant it was better prepared.

Ambulances were in high demand this Christmas and Boxing Day.

It also followed new figures released today which revealed that delays in ambulances delivering patients to A&E departments in England had reached their highest level of the winter, as those waiting more than an hour almost doubled in a week. Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said he had been told by experts that attempting to raise more would backfire because wealthy people would rearrange their affairs to pay less.

New statistics published by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) show around 46 Scots in every 100,000 were suffering from the virus during the last week in December 2017.

"They need more than just extra cash to cope with these challenges - it also needs leadership and a strategy that works - something which has been sadly lacking in recent days".

The Independent revealed how these delays, and "inappropriate 999 calls" over the break had forced one region to send nurses as first responders to patients.

In the years since - and in particular over the last couple of years, where the increase in NHS service users has been particularly acute - it simply has not.

The Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH), which runs the Haywards Heath hospital and the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, said it has been busy over Christmas, although it did not yet have the figures for the number of patients attending A&E during the festive period.

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Prime Minister Theresa May has denied the NHS is in a crisis - despite the controversial decision by the health service to postpone 55,000 operations.

By Tuesday night, 12 different NHS trusts, or branches, said they had reached the maximum state of emergency, including two ambulance services covering nearly nine million people.

Foluke Ajayi, chief operating officer at UHMBT, said: "Our Emergency Departments (ED) are under significant pressure - and a consequent effect of this is that our wards are also very busy".

However The Independent spoke to two people cancelled, cancelled at very short notice. I noticed that they were talking about the "flashing lights" and realised what they were referring to was the number of ambulances queueing.

The revelations come the day after it emerged that all non-emergency operations will be cancelled until at least February, as the worst NHS winter crisis in 30 years hits.

While the Liberal Democrat's leader, Vince Cable, said the figures were a sign of a crisis growing worse by the day. The blame lies firmly at the government's door.

An OPEL 4 situation is where organisations are defined as being "unable to deliver comprehensive care" and where there is "increased potential for patient care and safety to be compromised".

Each winter the pressure on the NHS worsens, and politicians are not taking the long-term view needed to ensure the NHS can keep up with rising demand. We are no longer able to offer safe of adequate care to the patients in our hospital.