Steve Beasant

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Great Grimsby and Councillor for the East Marsh Learn more

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NHS is at crisis point

by Steve Beasant on 22 January, 2017

Data released last week show the NHS is still at crisis point as winter pressure it testing it to it’s limits.

The top-level alert, considered a “serious incident” by NHS England, can result in scheduled operations being cancelled and patients being diverted to other hospitals as overflowing A&E departments struggle to cope. NHS England has devised a new system of Operational Pressure Escalation Levels (OPELs), which are numbered.

Health officials said the four-point scale was an attempt to ensure consistency when hospitals were under strain and needed extra help or for patients to be diverted.

On a single day, 9th January, 61 hospitals issued warnings (4 in 10) – the highest since the new OPEL system was introduced.

64 out of 152 trusts (over one in four) issued major alerts warning they were facing serious operational pressures.

21 (one in seven) issued the highest alert, OPEL 4, meaning patient’s care is compromised.

29 issued alerts for five days in a row. Also looking at figures from whole of January, 15 hospital trusts have issued alerts every single day from 3rd to 13th Jan, so eleven days in a row! Including in Stoke and North Cumbria, which covers Copeland:

  • University Hospitals Of North Midlands NHS Trust
  • East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • St Helens And Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Dartford And Gravesham NHS Trust
  • East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Isle Of Wight NHS Trust
  • Medway NHS Foundation Trust
  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Foundation Trust
  • Surrey And Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Norman_Lamb_(2013)Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Norman Lamb said:

“This NHS winter crisis brings bad news day after day and patients are paying the price.

“The Government are doing nothing to deal with it. I don’t know how bad the figures need to get for them to actually take action.

“I have urged the Prime Minister to bring all parties together in a cross party convention on the future funding of health and social care.

“Only the Liberal Democrats are prepared to make the case that we may need to raise tax to pay for the NHS and social care services patients deserve.”

The Liberal Democrats called for an additional £4bn of funding for NHS and care over the next year to help cash-strapped services cope with the impending winter crisis and ever-increasing demand for services.”

This would be broken down as follows:

  • £1.8bn transformation funding, to improve integration between health and care and invest in modernising services to improve patient experience and efficiency longer term.
  • £1.3bn ring-fenced funding for social care, delivered directly to local authorities.
  • £500m ringfenced additional funding for mental health, divided equally between adult and young people’s services.
  • £400m emergency funding delivered immediately to help the NHS through the anticipated winter crisis this year.
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