A&E consultant describes the current NHS crisis as “human tragedy”

An anonymous A&E consultant has described the current crisis in the NHS as “human tragedy” in i News. 

“The president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Adrian Boyle, has said as many as 500 people could be dying each week because of delays to emergency care.

“Let me tell you some that might be in that number,” the consultant said. “The 89-year-old who fell in the bathroom who called an ambulance but couldn’t get one for nine hours, so the sepsis which had caused him to fall killed him. Had I seen him within a couple of hours it could have been avoided. Maybe.

“The 54-year-old with three teenage children who has severe asthma came into A&E driven by his 17-year-old because he was so breathless. He collapsed and died outside because he’d waited too long because he knew the system was struggling. Maybe if he’d spoken to his GP things might have been different for him. Maybe if he’d brought himself sooner. Maybe.

“The 67-year-old grandmother who died from her chest infection, maybe because there were not enough people to keep an eye on her on the ward. Maybe if the nurses hadn’t been redeployed to open up another area of beds, so there would be more than two nurses to 24 patients. Maybe if the junior doctor had been able to review her sooner. Maybe.

“The lady with cerebral palsy who died from her chest infection – maybe if she’d not had to wait outside for six hours and had to wait 10 hours for an ambulance. Maybe if there’d been a bed on the ward. Or she’d been seen sooner, or reviewed more. Maybe.

“Another friend of mine said she felt like it was a war zone. It is. We have been firefighting for at least a decade. It is now so much worse.”

“The consultant described arriving for the 7am handover on a bank holiday shift last week and being met by a night team of three junior doctors who were “broken” and “unable to do any more”.

DAUK Co-chair also commented on i News: 

“The entire NHS is overstretched and all parties must put their election-based strategies aside and focus on the immediate actions that can be taken to save lives in the current crisis. The whole system has collapsed – from GP services dealing with record numbers of patients to the ambulance service, to our hospitals and the social care sector.

“We’ve been told that between 300 and 500 people appear to be dying each week because of avoidable delays in emergency NHS care. Winters are always a challenge but veteran NHS staff are speaking up to report the worst conditions they have seen within the service in their entire careers. The whole system requires urgent investment and action is needed right now.”

Read the full news here