Footage has emerged (scroll down for video) of the moment when an A&E healthcare professional working at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, explains to walk-in patients that they can expect a wait of up to 13 hours.
In the footage posted on Twitter on 7th June, the staff member can be heard saying that the department was currently dealing with 170 patients.
She then added that 90 patients were waiting to be seen and that the current wait time for a doctor was 7.5 hours.
The nurse also said that she expects many of the patients waiting in A&E could still be there when she finishes her night shift 13 hours later.
As well as the waiting time, the staff member can be heard telling the patients that there are currently no beds and that if admitted, the patient might have to spend the night in A&E until a bed becomes free.
The footage has been viewed over 1.2 million times.
Responding to the footage, Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC:
“Because of the impact of Covid… we know already from our NHS estimates, we think some 11 to 13 million people stayed away from the NHS because of the pandemic.
“Many of those people are coming forward, many of those to A&E, and we’re seeing very high levels of demand.
“That is a real challenge for the NHS across the system.”
Stephanie Lawton, chief operating officer at the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, said it had seen a “significant increase in attendances in our emergency department”.
“Our teams are working hard to assess and treat patients as quickly and effectively as possible to reduce delays, prioritising those in most clinical need,” she said.
She urged members of the public to ease pressures by using the NHS 111 service for healthcare advice in non-urgent cases.
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