Speaking to i News, DAUK’s Dr Matthew Lee says:
“The Christmas period has been utterly chaotic. I don’t think anyone has seen anything like it and I think the picture is the same across the whole of the UK.
“The sheer volume of patients is completely relentless. We’ve had so many more admissions than we would do on a ‘normal’ day, to the extent where even if there were beds available we still wouldn’t be getting through all the patients.”
Dr Lee, a junior doctor who has been on call on week at his hospital in Wales, said some people had waited until after Christmas before seeing medical help. The “twindemic” of Covid and flu, as well as other respiratory viruses, had also “knocked out” many trusts, he said.
“Staff sickness is also a real issue. Over half of our on call team, including me, were off sick one of the days this week. Many patients we see have been waiting upwards of 12 hours for an ambulance, up to 14-15 hours in an ambulance [due to handover delays]. It’s just demoralising. Then, they finally get transferred inside and put on a corridor, which might be next to a wide open door with the cold winter winds blowing in. We simply can’t provide the care that we want to for patients.”
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