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A&E departments across the UK in ‘mayhem’

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Over the last few weeks, many hospitals across the country have stressed that they are struggling to cope with the added pressures caused by the recent influx of patients. This, combined with staffing problems and a lack of beds, is resulting in ‘mayhem’ across many of the country’s accident and emergency departments. One particularly affected hospital, Scarborough Hospital, said that even though extra emergency staff had been employed, they are still facing “mayhem” on a daily basis.

An investigation at the hospital found that on one day, a total of 114 people came through the doors at the accident and emergency department. Where medical teams did their best to deal with the mass of patients, A&E consultant Ed Smith said that the problem is growing out of control. He said it was “not an A&E crisis, it’s an NHS system crisis.”

“I’ve never seen staff working so hard”

Where the College of Emergency Medicine suggests that every A&E department should have ten doctors available at a consultant level, Scarborough Hospital only has three. The investigation highlighted that one patient, aged 97, was forced to wait for 15 hours before a bed was available for her. Mr Smith said that patients waiting on trolleys in the hospital’s corridors was becoming common practice.

Lead nurse at the hospital, Simon Etches, said that the recent influx of patients was the worst that he had experienced during his three decades of work in the profession. He said: “I’ve never seen staff working so hard, I’ve never seen A&E departments in this sort of situation.

Deputy chief executive of the York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Scarborough Hospital, said that an action plan would be drawn up immediately to ease some of the pressure.

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