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Covid patients ‘head to toe’ on trolleys in A&E spark warnings over ‘lethal’ situation

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Patients, including those with the coronavirus, are being kept “head to toe” on trolleys in accident and emergency departments in Manchester, with some forced to wait up to 40 hours for a bed.

The “dangerous” situation has sparked warnings from the president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine over the “potentially lethal” crowding of patients in A&Es across the country this winter. 

Katherine Henderson said she was “absolutely terrified” by what was happening in some departments. She said she had warned NHS England about the dangers of crowding patients in A&E but that not enough action had been taken.

She told The Independent: “Crowding in A&E is unsafe, but with coronavirus it is potentially lethal. We have said this endlessly to NHS England."

“Everyone agrees crowding is bad, but what they’re not doing is translating that into action.”

After hearing of the situation in Manchester, she added: “Exactly what we said should not happen is happening. I am absolutely terrified by this. What more can I do? I have highlighted this risk everywhere I can over the past few months.”

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Source: The Independent, 11 November 2020

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