Mike Paynter: Don’t blame winter pressures or patient demand for A&E crisis
The government’s reluctance to adequately fund health and social care is forcing patients and clinicians to endure ‘winter pressures’ all year round, says urgent care nurse Mike Paynter
The NHS is now consistently failing to meet the standard that 95% of A&E patients should be seen within four hours. This is not just an issue for emergency departments – it is a marker of unprecedented stress across the whole system of health and social care.
It is worth remembering that the waiting time target was originally set at 98%. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt is considering relaxing the 95% target further, so that it applies only to those patients with ‘time critical’ clinical conditions.
This begs the question, what happens to those patients who have legitimate clinical need...
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