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One patient dies every 23 minutes in England after long delay in A&E

One patient is dying every 23 minutes in England after they endured a long delay in an A&E unit, according to analysis of NHS figures by emergency care doctors.

In all, 23,003 people died during 2022 after spending at least 12 hours in an A&E waiting for care or to be admitted to a bed, according to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM).

That equates to roughly 1 every 23 minutes, 63 every day, 442 a week or 1,917 each month.

The college said its findings, while “shocking”, were also “unsurprising” and reflected the fact that emergency departments are often overwhelmed and unable to find patients a bed in the hospital.

Rosie Cooper, the Liberal Democrats’ health spokesperson, said “patients are now dying in their droves” due to successive Conservative governments neglecting the NHS, and added that the lives lost due to A&E snarl-ups constituted a “national disaster”.

“Long waiting times are associated with serious patient harm and patient deaths,” said Dr Adrian Boyle, RCEM’s president. “The scale shown here is deeply distressing.”

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Source: The Guardian, 28 February 2023


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