A&E patients are on carts blocking aisles as medics rush between them to try to stabilize the critically ill and in pain, an exhausted junior medic said.
Sumi Manirajan, who works at a hospital in northwest London, said Yo he frequently sees distraught patients waiting in pain for long periods during their shifts, a situation that feels “inhumane.”
The junior doctor, who has already considering leaving the NHS after just two years on the job, she said she started most consultations with parents by apologizing for long wait times.
Dr Manirajan said: “We have all seen the recent headlines, the NHS is in dire straits, patients suffering at home while waiting for an appointment. What I see are patients in emergency departments waiting an extremely long time while really not feeling well with their pain, waiting to see a doctor.
“During the shift, we are very short-staffed, going from patient to patient to stabilize patients who are really unwell and in a lot of pain. There are carts blocking the aisles, so A&E is spilling and the halls are full of patients on carts.”
“Many, if not all, of my inquiries start with an apology for painfully long wait times. Leaving a patient in a lot of pain, without being evaluated and worried about how bad he is, does not seem humane ”.
Dr Manirajan, who is only in her second year working as a doctor with the NHS, said she had already thought about quitting because of the conditions, a decision many of her colleagues have considered or made.
A recent survey of more than 4,500 physicians conducted by the BMA, of which Dr. Manirajan is a member, revealed that 40 per cent of young doctors are actively planning to leave the NHS as soon as they can find another job. Salary and working conditions were among the main reasons they wanted to leave.
Young doctors are being voted out on a possible strike for a 72-hour period in March. Paramedics and 999 call handlers will walk out on Wednesday after delaying a planned strike on December 28.
Dr Manirajan said she started looking into leaving the NHS after feeling the cost of a series of understaffed shifts.
“It all started after working several shifts where there were severe staff shortages. I would come home exhausted every night, wake up in the morning and not feel refreshed at all.feeling completely the same as the night before I went to sleep.”
He said doctors were under “an enormous amount of stress right now” because they wanted to provide good medical care to their patients, but couldn’t in the current situation.
The BMA began voting members on Monday during a three-day strike in March. He said successive governments had overseen 15 years of pay cuts in real terms for young doctors in England, amounting to “a staggering and unjustifiable 26.1 per cent decline in pay since 2008/09”.
For a strike to be called, most young doctors vote in favor of action, with at least 50 percent participation.
In the event of a strike, other doctors who are not subject to the strike, such as consultants and specialists, will remain on the job. The sickest patients will continue to receive care, but it could mean many canceled operations and appointments.
Dr Manirajan said she regretted the impact any strike would have on patients.
“We have tried to get the government to listen to our concerns about what the NHS is like at the moment.and we are very sorry that it has reached this point,” he said.
“I know that there will be patients who have been waiting a long time on the waiting list for operations. It is possible that if the Government does not want to negotiate with us, they will not meet with us, their appointment will be cancelled. I really want to apologize, that’s heartbreaking. That’s not what we want to do.”
The BMA survey also found that 51 per cent of surveyed doctors had difficulty paying utility bills in the previous year, while 81 per cent admitted to reducing the amount of heating where they lived and 78 per cent said they she had reduced the amount she spends on daily food purchases.
Dr Manirajan said she had spoken to a number of F1 doctors, those who have just graduated from medical school and are in their first year of practice, who “are paid as little as £14 an hour”.
She said: “They’re really struggling right now with having to pay rent, energy bills, as well as pay severance and registration fees.”
Dr Manirajan added that if the strike is successful in reaching a wage deal, it will have a knock-on effect of alleviating personnel problems by making the profession more attractive to potential and serving young doctors.
She said: “These doctors who were losing, it’s not just for Australia, Canada, New Zealandbut also to other professionals within the UK, if we can retain them and we can recruit the doctors who have left and bring them back and offer them a better pay deal, that in turn will improve working conditions because you’re not so badly understaffed anymore staff.
“This will go a long way toward solving the workforce crisis we find ourselves in right now.”