Overloaded hospitals are on the brink of collapse, with waits of more than 10 hours commomplace, and elderly patients lying in their own urine, an A&E doctor has warned in a blistering assessment of the chaos facing the NHS. The harrowing account, viewed thousands of times on Twitter, comes at a time when the health service is creaking under the strain, with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine they were facing unprecedented levels of demand.
The Oxfordshire-based doctor, who describes himself as a registrar with more than nine years’ experience, wrote: “This morning was the first time EVER that I cried in my car after a shift.
“I was on nights over the New Years period, but New Year was not the issue, every shift is like this now.”
Whereas five years ago there were typically 50 patients in the department on handover at night, now there was 180, they explained.
Meanwhile, whereas it used to be that roughly 20 patients faced waits of between one and two hours to see a clinician, between 60 and 70 percent were waiting ten hours.
He continued: “87-year-olds coming in after falls sitting on chairs for 17 hours.
“Other elderly patients lying in their own urine for hours because there’s no staff, or even room to change them into something dry.”
Patients were regularly lying on the floor of the department as a result of a shortage of chairs, he warned.
The registrar continued: “Now we’ve got to the point where people are actually dying. People who’ve been in ED for 2-3 days.
“The media and public might blame the ED nurses and doctors for this, but honestly what the **** are we meant to do with 180 people in a department built for 50?
“We need to accept the truth, the NHS isn’t breaking, it’s broken.
“The NHS as we knew it is dead, and it breaks my heart, because it’s a beautiful system.
“The public have no idea, they really don’t know how dangerous this all is.
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The account was shared by Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, who also referenced it during an interview with ITV’s Paul Brand today.
Express.co.uk has contacted Ms Moran for further comment, as well as the Department for Health and Social Care.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning, Education minister Robert Halfon said the pressure on A&E departments was a “top priority” for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
The Conservative MP for Harlow acknowledged the pressures facing the health system but said: “I’m absolutely clear that the Prime Minister treats this as a top priority.
“We’re increasing the NHS capacity by the equivalent of 7,000 beds, spending an extra £500 million to speed up hospital discharge and improve capacity.”