Last fiscal year, more than 1.7 million patients waited in the emergency room for more than 12 hours after they arrived. That represents just under 8% of all emergency room visits.
The patients of English hospitals They are waiting longer than ever to be cared for. And not just a little bit more. Last year, more than 1.7 million patients They waited in the emergency room for more than 12 hours after they arrived. That represents just under 8% of all emergency room visits.
More than 410,000 patients were still out of bed 12 hours after doctors called to admit them.
It is not known how long these patients wait to be pre-evaluated, or how long they can wait for an ambulance. Both figures represent huge jumps compared to last year’s results, which are higher than the previous year.
In 2021/2022, just under a million patients spent more than 12 hours in the emergency room, and nearly 100,000 waited more than 12 hours to be admitted after doctors decided they needed will be admitted.
Although emergency room wait times have been increasing over the years, the magnitude of the waits revealed in data published Thursday by the nation’s public health system is unprecedented.
In 2018/19, about 3,300 patients waited more than 12 hours to be admitted by the decision of emergency doctors. In 2012/13, only 170 patients waited that long.
There are many elements to this emergency care crisis, including chronic staff shortages, limited hospital beds, and increased demand for services.
An important factor is the lack of social care capacity throughout the country.
Doctors don’t always have a safe place to discharge weak or vulnerable patients, meaning they often stay longer than medically necessary in acute care hospitals.
Because demand exceeds capacity, it can take time to make community care available.
This limits the availability of hospital beds for new emergency patients, leaving many waiting in ambulances, emergency departments and even hallways for space to open up in wards.
Overcrowded emergency departments, in turn, slow down ambulance delivery times, meaning there are more vehicles queuing up outside hospitals and fewer teams available to respond to new calls. .
All this waiting has an impact on patient care and – in some tragic cases – contributes to their death.
With emergency services and ambulance crews overwhelmed across the country, long waits are likely to have contributed to thousands of deaths.
He found cases of patients who died after waiting more than a day from their first call to emergency services to being admitted to a hospital bed in a recent review of warnings from coroners in England for the Health Service Journal.
Long waits in emergency departments could be associated with more than 23,000 deaths by 2022, according to research by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine in the United Kingdom.
The president of the College, Dr. Adrian Boyle, has warned that this year will be another “difficult” winter for the National Health Service, after a “disastrous” 2022.
“We know it’s the elderly, the sickest and most vulnerable and those suffering from a mental health crisis who face the longest waits for a bed,” Boyle said in a statement. “We haven’t seen enough progress in reducing the long stay of patients who need to be admitted to a hospital.”
“We are happy that the government has committed to the constant publication of data on the duration of the 12-hour stay measured from arrival at the hospital, because it sheds light on this problem,” the manager said.
Miriam Deakin director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, said in a statement that trusts were “working hard” to care for “more patients than ever.”
“Shortages of staff, beds and equipment, as well as the need for substantial investment in the NHS, social care and more preventive support, have put the health service at an alarming level. of stress,” he said. Months of NHS staff strikes, he added, “also add to the pressure.”
Over the past ten months, various groups of staff have been on strike over pay and working conditions, with junior and senior doctors striking this week.
“By the end of this week, more than a million patients had their appointments and procedures delayed because of the labor strike,” Deakin said.
Urging ministers and unions to negotiate, Deakin said ending the strikes was the “most urgent need” facing the health service.