Patients wait up to three days in the emergency room as beds and oxygen run out, the doctor said.

Dr Salva Malik said the lack of social assistance options for those ready to be discharged is leading to fatal delays in emergency care.

Her shocking frontline story shows that in some hospitals, dozens of patients are waiting in the corridors on carts.

Doctors feel the need to raise the bar for hospital admissions by sending home people who would normally stay, she said.

And even the most experienced staff, “accustomed to the scam and chaos” of A&E, is afraid of making a mistake and losing their license.

Dr. Malik said, “Something has to happen. In two or three months, it’s scary to imagine what it might look like.

“The number of deaths will not decrease, it will only get worse unless something happens, and we don’t want patients to die.”

Acting as vice president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), Dr Malik laid bare the horrific scenes unfolding as the health service approaches its breaking point.

When she qualified as an associate doctor in 2009, waiting 12 hours for an emergency room was virtually unheard of, with patients breaking four hours causing a “strong stink.”

Long delays have become commonplace. In November, nearly 38,000 patients in England waited more than 12 hours to be admitted to hospital after a decision to admit them, and 144,000 waited more than four hours.

On Christmas Day alone, ambulances wasted more than 3,600 hours waiting to unload patients at hospitals. Approximately 1647 transmissions took over an hour.

Dr. Malik said: “The other day, there was a patient who was waiting in the ward for three days, who eventually went into cardiac arrest and died.

“There have been patients, unfortunately, waiting for NHS 111 to pick up the phone for more than an hour, then their condition worsens, and by the time they come to us it is too late and they have passed away.”

The RCEM estimates that emergency care delays result in between 300 and 500 deaths per week.

Dr. Malik described how doctors also have to raise the bar for hospital admissions and lower it for discharges, sending home patients who would normally have to stay in the hospital for a few more days.

It means making decisions “that you know deep down probably aren’t the best.”

She explained, “When you’re told, ‘Try and see if there’s anyone you can bring home,’ you end up trying to adapt your mindset, perhaps taking a little risk.

“Sometimes you are wrong. You send them home and they end up coming back even more unhealthy.”

The last two years have already seemed like “eternal winter” due to the pandemic, but the real winter came in November.

Rising Covid cases, high flu rates and increased demand from patients who have been putting off seeking NHS care for the past two years have exacerbated seasonal pressures.

Dr Malik, who works in East Sussex, said trolleybuses had piled up in the corridors. Patients are being stripped of their dignity while they wait to be transferred to a ward where there is no easy access to a toilet or a bell, she said.

She added: “Now we see 30 to 35 patients in our hallway at any time 24/7.

“They no longer wait a day in the emergency room, now it’s three days. Last week we had so many patients in the hallway in need of oxygen that we ran out of cylinders. Delivered emergency supplies.

“Another new thing is physically not having beds at all. If more people came to you, there was no bed or cart to put them on.”

Meanwhile, some 12,000 medically healthy patients are stuck in hospitals in England, unable to leave as they wait for a place in a nursing home or home care.

The government has allocated an additional £7.5bn for social assistance and £6.6bn for the NHS over the next two years to address this issue.

But Dr. Malik said that the shock is not felt. She urged ministers to launch a recruitment campaign for social service workers and do “everything possible” to build capacity.

Once flow through hospitals improves, she said, other issues will need to be addressed, such as filling NHS vacancies.

She added: “If you turn off that exit block, all of a sudden all of these things that the NHS is currently implementing will work really well.

“Then waiting lists will be reduced, and people will be able to continue the operation. So actually the answer to all this is social assistance.

“This is the worst thing we’ve ever known. The cracks in the foundation started 10 years ago and got worse, and now they are completely gone, and people are falling into these cracks.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services said: “We recognize the pressure the NHS is facing in the wake of the impact of the pandemic and are working tirelessly to ensure that people get the care they need, backed by up to $14.1 billion in additional health and healthcare funding. pounds. social security over the next two years.

“This includes investing an additional £500m to expedite the safe discharge of patients from hospitals, creating the equivalent of an additional 7,000 beds across the country and setting up 24/7 system control centers in every district to manage demand and capacity.”

According to NATASHA CURRY, the discharge delay has a domino effect on those who walk through the front door of the hospital.

Shocking footage of ambulances snaking around the block, sick people lying on the floor in crowded emergency rooms, and people being treated on carts in the hallways are the daily news this winter.

While the rise in COVID-19, flu and other infections is driving more people into hospitals, the growing problem behind this unbearable wait for medical attention is the delay in people being discharged from the hospital.

The so-called “delayed discharges” have a domino effect all the way to the front door of the hospital and are a consequence not only of Covid but also of a long-standing failure to address care issues outside the hospital.

NHS data shows that every day more than 12,000 people who can be discharged from hospital for health reasons are not discharged.

Our study found that 65 percent of people were delayed because they were waiting for NHS care outside the hospital, such as rehabilitation or social care at their home or nursing home.

Expectations for social assistance are rising steadily as employers increasingly struggle to recruit enough employees. A decade of council budget cuts has reduced the amount invested in social assistance and the fees paid to caregivers.

Employers cannot compete with retail, hospitality and the National Health Service, which can offer higher pay and better conditions. There are currently 165,000 care jobs available.

Care organizations are simply overwhelmed and unable to expand to accommodate new clients leaving the hospital, many of whom need help getting dressed, preparing meals, taking medication and leading independent lives.

Social assistance is much more than just an NHS support service. But the NHS cannot function without a good social safety net.

Unless the government takes immediate action to address a long-standing lack of funding and staffing, efforts to reduce hospitalization waiting times will be futile.

— Natasha Curry, Associate Director of Policy, think tank Nuffield Trust.

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