From: Coun Peter Gruen (Lab), Chair of the Adult Social Services, Public Health & NHS Scrutiny Board, Leeds Council.
THE question of the month seems to be ”Is there a crisis in the NHS or not?” As chair of the Leeds Health Scrutiny Board, I wonder if we should let the facts speak for themselves?
Here is a list of recent events:
1) Leeds Teaching Hospitals have had to suspend elective surgery owing to ‘winter pressures’;
2) Trolleys in hospital corridors are back. There are columns of trolleys with patients waiting, often for hours, to be admitted for treatment, never mind a bed;
3) Ambulance crews cannot pass over patients on arrival at hospital due to these shortages, this in turn means they cannot respond to further urgent calls;
4) As an emergency, hospitals are deploying doctors to specifically look after patients in the trolley queue;
5) The Secretary of State seems to want to dilute the four-hour emergency target in A&E, to huge protest from all sectors of the community. So, I let readers judge for themselves, whether or not we are in a crisis. I just say: Wake up and smell the coffee.