Today figures produced by the Department of Health show that a staggering 28.7% (nearly 1 in 3) patients reporting to the Emergency Department at Hull Royal were not seen within the four hour target in the week prior to Christmas.
Eight Trusts in England today are involved in “critical incidents” which is a public sector euphemism for “breaking point”. When such an “incident” is declared it means that the hospital can reject patients and lift the burden of meeting targets to get people seen by medical staff and dealt with in an appropriate manner.
In October 2014 Hull Royal Infirmary declared the second highest crisis alert and ambulances were sent away on Saturday 31st October. They were forced to go as far afield as York and Scarborough.
None of this is the fault of the staff. They are working under incredible strain and perform minor miracles on a daily basis just to keep the show on the road.
The management at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospital Trust (HEY) have come under fire for allowing a, “bullying culture” to emerge, and their blatant and crass misuse of credit cards for luxury goods and hotel stays remains a stain on the reputation of the Trust.
But none of this must act as a distraction as to the real reasons why Dr. Jeanette Brooke, a Cottingham GP said, “This Government is running the NHS into the ground”.
A “perfect storm” of £100 million cuts to HEY allied to the £3 billion top down reorganisation which no one voted for has piled pressure onto a system already starved of cash. Consultants said in June 2012 that cuts would see, “care critically eroded”. In response East Hull MP Karl Turner told the BBC that such cuts, “would cause people to lose their lives”.
We will leave it to the Royal College of Nursing to explain just what a catastrophe is unfolding in our NHS.
“Hospital trusts trying to recruit more staff have been hamstrung by the short-sighted cuts to nurse training places, which means there simply aren’t enough nurses in the system,” said Dr Peter Carter, RCN chief executive and general secretary. “This is made worse by chronic under-resourcing of community services and social care, which means more people end up in A&E who could be better treated elsewhere …
“Nothing short of a long-term strategy and a significant long-term investment in our health service will put an end to this crisis.”