George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton is consistently missing government A&E targets for dealing with patients. The staff are overworked and struggling whilst demand is increasing. The target for A&E is 95% of patients to be dealt with in 4 hours. The George Eliot A&E is operating at 80.9%. See data at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25055444
The pressure is the result of increasing numbers of people using A&E because they cannot get to see a GP out of hours. Some are elderly people who need care have been unable to get the care they need at home and have to go into hospital. Routine operations are also being delayed because of the need to cope with A&E pressures.
Former Minister of State for Health Mike O’Brien said, “A patient waiting in A&E for 4 hours is a patient waiting too long. When I was the Minister the target was to deal with 98% of patients in 4 hours and it was being consistently hit. In 2010 the Conservative led government decided to reduce the target to 95% to make it easier but despite that, across the country NHS hospitals are now consistently failing to meet the lower target. The NHS is now in crisis.
“This was a predictable NHS crisis. For decades we have all known there is an aging population who will put greater demand on the NHS. Labour more than doubled NHS funding to enable the NHS to cope.
“Yet since 2010 NHS funding has been restricted to the inflation levels by David Cameron and he has refused to acknowledged the need to provide sufficient staff to cope with the pressures. Then in the 2012 Act he imposed on the NHS an unnecessary top down reorganisation and a requirement to open up to the private sector.
“The staff has been expected to cope with the increased pressure without the staff they need. I support the staff, who are doing their very best. The NHS staff are lions led by donkeys in Westminster. The staff and patients have been let down by David Cameron.”
Mike O’Brien led the successful campaign to stop a private company taking over the George Eliot Hospital and he said then that the process would distract managers. Mike remains concerned by the legacy of bidding process. He said, “The Eliot has had to cope with a perfect storm. Managers were put under the same pressure as other hospitals, plus the bidding process to bring in a private company. The hospital now has a £12m deficit. The hospital cannot cut the deficit by cutting staff because it’s understaffed! The management is in an impossible position”
Mike O’Brien said that Labour would train 8,000 more GPs, 20,000 nurses, 3,000 midwives and 5,000 more home-care workers to address the NHS crisis. “We will fund this by a mansion tax properties worth over £2 million and by raising £2.5 billion from a clamp down on hedge funds, tax avoiders and on tobacco companies. That will fund the staff we need. We want an NHS with the ‘time to care’.”