A&E: We cannot guarantee safe care for patients anymore

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A&E: We cannot guarantee safe care for patients anymore

Post by falkor » Tue May 21, 2013 8:47 pm

Sanchez Manning 20 May 2013
Patients at risk from combination of 'toxic overcrowding' and 'institutional exhaustion', say 20 heads of emergency departments
The Accident & Emergency crisis is now so severe that doctors can no longer guarantee safe care for patients, NHS officials have warned in a leaked letter seen by The Independent.

A combination of “toxic overcrowding” and “institutional exhaustion” is putting lives at risk, according to the letter to senior NHS managers from the leaders of 18 emergency departments. They warn that the rising number of patients presenting themselves for treatment has created a “state of crisis” in casualty departments.

In a chilling warning, they write: “What is entirely unacceptable is the delivery of unsafe care, but that is now the prospect we find ourselves facing on too frequent a basis.”

The letter will heap more pressure on the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who is due to respond to the troubles facing emergency units in a speech on Thursday. Last week, figures showed that the number of patients attending casualty units in England has increased by a million in the 12 months leading up to January 2013.