A group of leading doctors from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) have sent a letter to prime minister Theresa May saying that the NHS “will fail” without immediate extra funding and that patient care will continue to deteriorate throughout this winter – a season which has been already been described as the “worst ever” in terms of A&E waiting times and hospital bed shortages.
RCP president Professor Jane Dacre told the BBC:
“Our members tell me it is the worst it has ever been in terms of patients coming in during a 24-hour period and numbers of patients coming in when there are no beds to put them in…
“Our members fear that patients’ lives are at risk because they can’t get round to see patients who aren’t in the emergency and accident department or are waiting for results to come back.”
Meanwhile, members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) expressed “serious concerns” regarding the level of care they are able to give amidst the “worst conditions they have ever experienced.”
One trauma center nurse reported:
“Today I ran our major treatment area. Patients were waiting more than 12 hours for beds.
“My staff were broken and distressed. By the end of the day you could see their care-worn, exhausted faces, feeling like they’ve failed. But really it’s the Government that has failed.”
British politicians have denied that a “humanitarian crisis” exists regarding health care, while doing their best to play down the seriousness of the issue and shifting the blame back onto physicians. Theresa May has been accused of “scapegoating” GPs and attempting to distract the public from the real causes of the crisis. (RELATED: Stay informed about the failures of modern medicine at Medicine.news.)
But warnings from within the medical community continue to increase in urgency as accounts of actual patient deaths due to long waiting times and understaffing become more commonplace.
And leaked documents that surfaced just as the RCP and RCN warnings were issued revealed that this year’s NHS winter crisis is all too real – nearly a quarter of all A&E patients were forced to wait at least four hours before being seen, and those who were admitted to the hospital after seeing A&E staff were also typically subjected to long waits before being assigned a bed.
During the course of one week, nearly 500 British patients waited more than 12 hours on trolleys or in hallways before being given a bed. Another 18,000 endured “trolley waits” of four hours or more.
In some hospitals, there have been reports of wait times approaching 24 hours.
In light of all this, it would not seem an understatement to label the situation a “humanitarian crisis” after all, and one which is likely to worsen before it can improve.
Theresa May’s government claims it has given the NHS enough money, but the RCP disagrees, saying that only an immediate bailout can address the problem – not promises of future funding to a system that is “underfunded, underdoctored and overstretched.”
The British healthcare system – like that of the United States – is struggling to cope with an aging population and a “spiraling demand” for its services.
Of course, much of the looming healthcare crisis both in the United States and Britain could be averted by implementing natural health principles which prevent most diseases, rather than merely treating their symptoms.
Until such an approach is adopted, we can expect our health care systems to continue to fail and put millions of lives at risk.