More than 200 patients crowded into the accident and emergency department of a London hospital earlier this week as doctors warned of their fears for the coming winter.
information viewed by Granthshala confirms that there were 210 people at North Middlesex Hospital in north London waiting to be seen by staff at its A&E department on Monday afternoon – one of the highest numbers to date.
It came as owners in Nottingham declared an alert for over 143 patients experiencing “unacceptably long waits”.
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine warns that congestion in A&E departments poses a risk to patients and has been linked with an increase in deaths.
In June, the North Middlesex University Hospital Trust announced an event when it recorded 700 A&E attendances in a single day, a record high since January 2020, prior to the COVID crisis, when 684 patients were admitted in a single day. participated.
Since then, the A&E department has attended to more than 700 patients on five different days, including Monday.
The trust said only 1 in 10 patients attending A&E are hospitalized, with 26 per cent being discharged and not requiring any significant treatment.
Staff on the ground say waiting 210 patients at the same time poses a serious threat to patient safety for patients who are ill.
A doctor from the trust, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “The number of patients we are seeing is astronomical. It is now regularly up from 700 a day when earlier the ‘busy’ average day was 600.
He continued: “It’s impossible to work in an emergency department with more than 30 patient waiting beds – there’s virtually no room to see ‘new’ patients, so there are queues.”
“Frankly, the thought of going to this state in winter is terrifying.”
At a meeting of the Trust Board of Directors in August, owners heard that the problem was linked to increased referrals from NHS 111 to A&E as well as patients unable to see their GPs.
A review has been launched in the north central London area to try to get to the bottom of the problem.
The board was told that one factor was the lack of local GPs with Enfield having only 3.5 GPs per 10,000 people, compared to nearby Camden where it has more than twice as many GPs.
Prior to the COVID crisis, the A&E department was only seeing an average of between 550 and 600 people a day – still significantly more than the amount the unit was designed for.
Dr Nanena Osuji, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “Like many other hospitals across the country, North Mid is seeing significant demand for emergency care. Although attendance is high, we remain open and it is important local people know That they will get safe, high-quality care if they do need to attend A&E.
“Our employees are working very hard under constant pressure to keep people safe and give them the treatment they need, and I want to stress that I am proud of the entire North Mid team – of our A&E department. How are they responding to this relentless demand – from doctors to all support services.
“When I visited our emergency department last evening, it was calm, well managed and safe, and it is a testament to our team’s continued hard work and compassion.”
She urged the public to think carefully before attending A&E and calling NHS 111 first.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /