4 in 10 hospital trusts issue emergency alerts as NHS crisis worsens

January 16, 2017 6:11 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have called for the Government to "see sense" and provide an urgent cash boost to the NHS, as new figures reveal that four in ten hospital trusts issued emergency alerts warning that they were facing serious operational pressures in the first week of January.

The figures show that from the 3rd to 8th January:

  • Over four in ten hospital trusts (66 out of 152) faced serious operational pressures on at least one day. This is more than double the number of trusts recorded as facing operational problems in the same week last year.
  • 24 hospital trusts, or one in six, faced serious operational pressures every day in the week. This compares to just six trusts who reported facing operational problems every day in the same week of January last year.
  • 8 trusts declared the highest state of emergency (OPEL 4), which indicates hospitals are unable to deliver comprehensive care and there is a risk patient safety will be compromised.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb said:

"When hospitals face this kind of pressure day after day, there can be no doubt patient care will suffer.

"There is now an avalanche of bad news showing hospitals are struggling to cope.

"How much more will it take for this Government to see sense and provide emergency funding for the NHS?

"We urgently needs a cross-party process on how to fund health and care services in the long-term, or the NHS will keep lurching from crisis to crisis."