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Nearly 19,000 NHS patients left waiting for three days in A&E over 12 months

Almost 19,000 NHS patients were left waiting in A&E for three days over a 12-month period, an investigation has revealed.

Between April 2023 and March 2024, nearly 400,000 people were left waiting more than 24 hours across A&E departments, a 5% rise on the previous year. Channel 4’s Dispatches programme also found that 54,000 people had to wait more than two days, a freedom of information request to NHS England found.

The investigation exposed “suffering and indignity faced by patients on a daily basis”, after an undercover reporter secretly filmed himself working as a trainee healthcare assistant inside the emergency department of the Royal Shrewsbury hospital for two months.

The “harrowing” scenes from the hospital’s A&E department came as an analyst from a thinktank said people were dying in emergency care in England “who don’t need to be dying”.

Footage shows one patient waiting for 30 hours in a “fit to sit” area while a suspected stroke sufferer was there for 24 hours, the broadcaster said.

Dr Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “I don’t think this is unique to this hospital by any stretch of the imagination. The things we’ve seen here today are clearly not just confined to winter. It was a year-round crisis in emergency care.

“Spending two days in an emergency department is worse than spending two days in an airport lounge. These are people who are sitting in uncomfortable seats where the lights never go off. There’s constant noise, there’s constant stress. There’s no end in sight.”

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Source: The Guardian, 24 June 2024


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