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More than one in eight ambulances taking patients to hospital on an emergency call this winter have had to wait more than 30 minutes to hand over to A&E staff [Image: Alamy Stock Photo].

This is good background to posts about the current NHS winter crisis.

Alongside the facts below, the article mentions action that has been taking by NHS England “such as cancelling operations, is helping to ease the problem but will not solve it”.

No indeed – in fact it is intended to ‘nudge’ patients towards the private sector. They can have their operation straight away if they can afford to pay for it. That would be a nice little earner for all those Tory MPs who have shares in the private money-grubbing pay-for-your-health scams.

And we are told: “Services that might help control demand – such as advice, health checks and smoking cessation programmes – are all being cut.” Because there’s no money in them?

Whenever we see information about the NHS, and the crisis in healthcare, we have to examine it critically.

Why are services being cut? Why are operations cancelled.

Under Tories, it’s never for the good of anybody’s health.

This is about profiting from illness. Always remember that.

This winter, the NHS finally ran out of road. Among the deluge of data revealing the depth of the current problems, three shocking figures stand out. So far, 23 out of 152 acute hospital trusts have declared black alerts – this means a wet week in January is a “serious incident” preventing them offering comprehensive care.

BBC analysis shows that, this winter, more than one in eight ambulances taking patients to hospital on an emergency call have had to wait more than 30 minutes to hand over to A&E staff. People who have had strokes are among them.

In the last week of 2017, bed occupancy averaged 91.7%, with virtually every trust in the country exceeding the widely accepted safe threshold of 85%.

The pressures are no less in general practice. So there is no safety valve, no reserve capacity, no underused resource. Old-style winter planning – such as opening extra wards – is largely redundant because hospitals need their entire capacity all year round. So in winter they have nothing left to give.

Source: What will it take for the government to confront pressures on the NHS? | Richard Vize | Healthcare Professionals Network | The Guardian


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