NHS_ambulanceAmbulances queuing, tents in hospital car parks, patients in corridors are all signs of an A&E system under acute stress – and with one of the (so far) mildest winters on record.

For eighteen weeks this winter, the NHS in England failed to meet its targets to see see patients in A&Es within four hours. Almost 15,000 operations were cancelled (that’s 220 every day), including 750 urgent operations. And 72,000 ambulances have sat waiting outside A&E departments for more than 30 minutes.

One of our local hospitals recently converted a ‘day room’ overnight into a ward to cater for 5 patients that had been admitted but there were no beds available.

It now appears that the problem has been caused by not being able to discharge patients to free up the necessary bed-spaces.

These patients are mainly elderly and they are not being discharged because of a lack of available care & support when they are discharged home. This a failure of the social care for our most vulnerable.

We must have an integrated NHS and social care system.

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