NHS hospitals have started to declare major internal incidents as they struggle to cope with winter pressures.
NHS Hospitals around the country have started to declare ‘major internal incidents’ as they struggle to cope with the yearly spike in demand for services.
Major internal incidents are declared by NHS trusts once their services have, or are about to, reach maximum capacity and deem there to be a high-risk patient care will be compromised.
Dr Richard Fawcett, a Consultant of Emergency Medicine in Stoke on Trent, publically apologised to his patients yesterday for the “third world conditions” they are currently experiencing.
Yesterday, the National Emergency Pressures Panel (NEPP) met for the second time and activated the new NHS winter pressures protocols which include the suspension of all non-urgent care and the removal of same-sex breaches. The panel also recommended that consultants sit on the doors to all accident and emergency departments to turn away those who could use other services.
In a statement today Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, claimed that the NHS is “better prepared this year” but apologised “wholeheartedly” for any operations or appointments that may be cancelled.
In November the Royal College of Nursing warned the government that healthcare staff and NHS were nearing breaking point.