Government is failing to stop NHS crisis, say doctors, patients and opposition parties

Full story in The Guardian, 3 January 2018

NHS providers, doctors and patients have joined opposition parties in accusing the government of failing to stop the growing crisis in the NHS this winter.

Pressure on the health service in England continues to mount with at least 21 trusts – many responsible for multiple hospitals – on black alert, known as opel 4, on Wednesday. Hospitals are forced to announce this when they can no longer guarantee patient safety and provide their full range of services.

In Somerset, three trusts – Yeovil district hospital, Taunton and Somerset and Somerset Partnership – were operating at the highest alert level. Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire were in similar positions.

Ashford and St Peter’s hospital trust in Surrey declared it was on black alert and had had “very high A&E attendances over the last few days”, with 320 patients in the department on Tuesday.