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A&E nurse: Most challenging I've seen in 30 years

There are 10 patients in the corridor and the nurses are about to go out to assess two more waiting in an ambulance outside.

The senior sister, Susan Beswick, who has worked in the hectic and often stressful world of NHS accident and emergency for 30 years, says she has never seen anything like it.

"The last six to 12 months have been more challenging than I have ever known," she says.

"We have been exceptionally busy for quite a number of weeks now. We're running two to three times above our capacity continually and often more than that."

Susan's whole nursing career has been at Royal Bolton Hospital, which, like many in the country, is facing overwhelming demand from a growing as well as ageing population and has out-of-date buildings that are not fit for purpose.

A policy of cohorting, adopted by many hospitals, has been agreed between emergency-department staff and paramedics. One member of an ambulance team will be left to look after two or three patients in a corridor, allowing others to get back on the road more quickly.

The problem is space. There are simply too many patients coming in to be accommodated, even with all the streaming initiatives.

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Source: BBC News, 13 January 2023


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