NHS Crisis in Yorkshire: Patients facing waits of over 24 hours at Huddersfield and Calderdale’s A&Es

Patients at the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust (CHFT) have been left waiting as long as 26 hours in A&E, as the NHS faces unprecedented pressures.

Freedom of Information requests reveal that around 85 percent of hospitals across England have seen patients spend more than 24 hours waiting in A&E to be admitted, in what are known as trolley waits, with some waiting the best part of a week to be seen.

At CHFT, a patient was left waiting for over 26 hours. This was the longest wait time reported at CHFT between September 2021 and September 2022.

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A shortage of doctors, nurses, and beds have combined to leave patients waiting longer than ever before in emergencies, despite the best efforts of overstretched staff. The lack of social care and mental health support available to patients has also led more patients to turn to A&E.

Calderdale Royal HospitalCalderdale Royal Hospital
Calderdale Royal Hospital

Staff shortages in the NHS hit record levels this year, with the latest figures revealing that there are 9,000 doctor and 44,000 nursing vacancies in the NHS today.

Labour is calling on the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, to adopt its plan to double medical school places and train 10,000 more nurses a year in his Budget later this month. The NHS has called on the government to train 15,000 doctors a year, but Hunt is reportedly refusing to fund it. Labour would scrap the non-dom tax status to pay for the expansion.

Amjid Mohammed, Accident and Emergency Consultant at CHFT, said: “Our hospitals, like others across West Yorkshire, are currently facing extreme pressures and exceptionally high levels of demand.

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“We have seen some of the highest ever levels of attendances in our A&Es this winter. We prioritise those with the most urgent need, to ensure patients are kept as safe as possible under difficult circumstances. We need the public’s help to support our urgent and emergency care services by only attending Accident and Emergency for life or limb-threatening conditions.

“This is particularly important ahead of the planned junior doctors nation-wide industrial action from 7am Monday 13 March to 7am Thursday 16 March. There are over 300 junior doctors working in our hospitals and in GP practices across Calderdale and Kirklees and we are expecting the majority of them to participate in the strike. If you come to A&E and your condition is not urgent or life-threatening, you may have a very long wait or be redirected to a more appropriate service.

“If your condition is not a life or limb-threatening emergency, please visit NHS 111 Online for advice on where to get help. The West Yorkshire Together We Can website is also an excellent resource for people looking for alternative health services.”

Harpreet Uppal, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Huddersfield said: “24 hours in A&E isn’t just a TV programme, it is the appalling reality for too many patients.

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“The Conservatives have failed to train the doctors and nurses the NHS needs, leaving patients to wait longer than ever before. It was unthinkable just a few years ago that people would be left waiting almost a week for care in an emergency.

“The Government should nick Labour’s plan to double medical school places in next week’s Budget, and get patients treated on time again.”