The proportion of patients waiting for more than 12 hours on trolleys has increased by more than 6,000 per cent, NHS figures show, prompting warnings that hospitals in England have “endured one of the worst winters on record”.
Delayed transfers of care and waits at A&E were both found to be increasing, while bed occupancy on general and acute wards reached record levels, according to the latest British Medical Association (BMA) analysis of NHS performance in the country.
The findings show the number of trolley waits rose dramatically between November 2016 and March 2017, with more than 290,000 patients waiting at least four hours to be admitted – an increase of almost 70,000 on the previous year.Despite the NHS England target that no patient should wait more than 12 hours on a trolley, the number of such incidents has dramatically increased over the past seven years, from 38 in the winter of 2010/11 to 2,608 last winter – an increase of 6,763 per cent.
Bed occupancy on general and acute wards was 91 per cent over the first three months of 2017 – the highest figure on record, and there were 328 fewer available mental health beds between January and March than between October and December, according to the findings.
Between the start of December 2016 and the middle of March 2017, 94 of 152 trusts issued major alerts on at least one day to say they couldn’t cope, with 6,708 patients experiencing a delayed transfer of care on any one day between November 2016 and March 2017.
Full story in The Independent, 26 May 2017