Commenting on a new survey warning of the mounting pressures in urgent and emergency care published by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said:
“This survey highlights once again the unsustainable pressure our health service is under. As we warned earlier this month, we have reached a tipping point with ambulances and front-line providers across all parts of the NHS weighed down by the huge surge in demand. Primary care teams are also working harder than ever before to meet patient needs delivering over 34m appointments last month alone.
“As we head into a very difficult winter this situation will only get worse. There is evidence that over-crowding in emergency departments is now costing thousands of lives and while healthcare leaders and staff are doing their utmost to provide patients with the treatment they need, they also need urgent support to address severe workforce shortages.
“Hospitals are working hard to improve efficiency in their emergency departments, but they also need the government to urgently provide extra funding and support to social care services to ensure that medically fit patients can safely be discharged into the community. This will free up capacity in the NHS, help to reduce ambulance handover and other delays in A&E, as well as reducing pressure on community and primary care services.”