Waiting times in A&E departments were set at a maximum of 4 hours, but the time limit is increasing in A&E departments across the UK as pressures grow in hospitals.
Weekly data that was obtained on the four-hour target in England has been provided by NHS England and the government in recent years, but they have now stopped that.
The potential delay in seeing patients in A&E departments could cause significant negligence to patients who require immediate assessments.
Recent figures show that hospitals have also reported significant problems in regard to discharging patients.
It has been suggested that in some places, a fifth of hospital beds are occupied by patients who are ready to leave hospital but cannot be discharged because of a lack of community services available to care for them.
This is seen as a domino effect as a growing number of routine operations are being cancelled. These operations could potentially be life threatening. These problems have continued to develop despite three-quarters of hospitals increasing their stock of beds to try to relieve the pressure.
Royal College of Emergency Medicine president Dr Cliff Mann predicted the “worst is yet to come”. “The majority of hospitals have endeavoured to increase the number of beds available to cope. Despite this, elective operations have had to be cancelled and postponed as bed capacity is insufficient to cope. He also said the problems with delayed discharges – which have caused a number of hospitals to declare major incidents – showed no signs of diminishing.”
A spokeswoman for NHS England stated that “its important patients who are well enough to leave hospital can do so at the earliest opportunity and are helped to recover with dignity and compassion”.
The failure to see patients in time or delay operations could lead to devastating outcomes. If you or a loved one feel as though you have been wronged by the a medical professional, please feel free to call our office for a no obligation discussion on 0116 254 7456.