The BBC has reported that hospital corridors have become “the new emergency wards” as a result of the number of patients finding themselves on trolleys in corridors due to hospital beds being unavailable.

Figures show that January was one of the most difficult months on record for the NHS, with approximately 1000 seriously ill patients waiting over 12 hours.

Professor John Appleby, chief economist at the Nuffield Trust think-tank, said the health service was “creaking at the seams”.

A spokesperson for the Royal College of Surgeons commented that “Surgeons and other frontline NHS staff are working tirelessly to provide the best care possible to patients” Despite this, the figures clearly show that the NHS targets are not being met.

The four-hour A&E target was missed for the 30th month in a row, and many of the most seriously ill patients found themselves on trolleys in side-rooms and corridors awaiting admission to a Ward.

It is reported that 81,000 people waited more than four hours for a bed – one in five of the 390,000 people who needed to be admitted.

Some health bosses have mentioned the rising numbers of A&E attendees over the month – NHS England statistics show that more than 2 million people attended A&E in January 2018 which is an increase of more than 5%

High levels of the flu virus (which is at its highest since 2011) have also impacted the demand on NHS A&E departments. In light of the increasing demand,  Ian Dalton, chief executive at the regulator NHS Improvement has commented on the dedication of staff during this difficult period.

The rising pressure on the NHS is of concern to all who rely on the service, and clearly to those who provide the service. Patient safety and well-being must remain a priority and appropriate safeguards should be implemented to reduce the level of “trolley waits” even during busy periods.

If you or a family member would like some information about medical negligence, contact the specialist team at Ringrose Law on 01522 561 020.

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