This short account was sent into us by someone working in an A&E Department. It gives a no-nonsense account of one of the underlying issues currently affecting the NHS:
“You can throw as much money as you like at our A&E services or educating Joe Public to go to the pharmacy first but that’s not just where the problem lies.
Ambulances are queueing because A&E departments are full.
A&E departments are full because they can’t admit patients because Acute wards are full.
Acute wards are full because there aren’t enough Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, dietitians, Pharmacists, Nurses or Doctors to discharge quick enough.
Then when they are discharged there isn’t enough community beds, care placements, home care vacancies or RELATIVES willing to care for their own (I emphasise RELATIVES willing to care) once patients are medically fit to leave Acute Hospitals.
Once a discharge can be made an overstretched and already heavily abused (People who can get to appointments with relatives or in some cases use it just because it’s free and direct unlike bus/taxi) Non Emergency Patient Transport Services do not have the capacity to deal with the increase in discharges or subsequent out patient appointment transport.
The problem runs throughout the system. Not just at the front door.”
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