More than 200 people who died last week in England They are estimated to have been affected by problems with urgent and emergency care, according to the president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.
Dr Adrian Boyle, who is also a consultant in emergency medicine, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that failing to address the problems of discharging patients to social care was a “massive own goal”.
Ambulances had been turned into “wards on wheels” as patients waited for hospital treatment, Boyle said, adding that the people most at risk “are the people the ambulance can’t go to because it’s stuck outside the emergency department.” “.
He said there were many causes of the estimated 900 excess deaths in England last week “but we think problems with urgent and emergency care are likely to contribute to about a quarter of this.”
Boyle spoke after hearing a woman describe her mother waiting for an ambulance overnight in agony with a broken hip. Ambulance workers have voted in favor strike over wages and conditionssaying they are “on their knees” and facing unsafe staffing levels.
He said he hadn’t seen such waits since the 1990s, but that a concerted effort managed to reverse the problem. “Going back 20 years, we as a country were able to turn this situation around.” Boyle said.
His comments came as the National Health Service launched 42 “winter war rooms” in England, designed to use data to respond to pressures on the health system.
When asked about the project, Boyle said it was too early to say if it was a good idea, adding: “You can get bogged down with analytics, it’s actually simpler and it’s about building more capability.”
He said that the best way to solve the problem is to focus on hospital discharge and social care. “Fixing this starts at the back door of the hospital and being able to use our beds properly,” she said.
“Right now there are 13,000 people waiting in hospitals, around 10% of the bed base, who are waiting to be discharged or to their homes, with a little more support, or to a care center. And that’s just a great own goal. We just need to reform the interface between acute care hospitals and social care.”
The idea of the NHS’s 42 “traffic control centres” will be to get patients to beds faster and manage demand by processing information on things like A&E waiting times, staffing levels, response times from ambulances and bed occupancy. The staff will be able to divert ambulances from full hospitals to others with capacity.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS National Medical Director for England, said: “These locally delivered control centers are just one part of our extensive winterization, but they will play a vital role in sharing and using vital information to drive decisions. smarter”. -carried out by local NHS teams.”