Study shows thousands of patients die waiting for beds in hospitals

A study by leading NHS doctors has found that almost 5,500 patients have died over the past three years because they have spent so long on a trolley in an A&E unit waiting for a bed in overcrowded hospitals.

They conclude that long delays finding spare beds is costing patients’ lives. The Guardian notes that this has come to light as Boris Johnson comes under mounting pressure over the fragile state of the NHS.

Since 2016, a total of 5,449 people have lost their lives as a direct result of waiting anywhere between six hours and 11 hours, according to research seen by the Guardian. The study found that those deaths represent the total “estimated attributable mortality” from the delays.

The findings are “deeply shocking and very worrying” noted The Patients Association, which blamed the deaths on underfunding of the NHS.

The analysis of the care received by more than four million people who attended A&E in England over the past three years by Dr Chris Moulton and Dr Cliff Mann, found that 960 out of 79,228 patients who had to wait about six hours died as a direct result of the delay.

Full story in The Guardian, 10 December 2019