1,695 patients waited more than 12 hours in A&E in February, shocking new figures have revealed.
The statistics, released for the first time this week by NHS England, show the number of people who waited more than 12 hours from arriving at A&E to being admitted, transferred or discharged.
They show that Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board which includes East Surrey Hospital had 8.7% of patients waiting over 12 hours at A&E in February.
These long A&E waits can have serious consequences for patients. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has warned that “evidence shows delays to care and long waits to admission to hospital increase a patient’s risk of harm and death”, even after they leave A&E.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for a rescue plan for local health services, including recruiting more GPs and bringing in a Carer’s Minimum Wage to tackle staff shortages in social care. This would help reduce pressure on overstretched hospitals and ambulance services.
Responding to the figures, East Surrey Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate Claire Malcomson said:
“I am seeing more and more residents suffering long waits. People are being held in corridors in severe pain, which is unacceptable.
“I am increasingly being contacted by staff at East Surrey hospital, demoralised at the lack of staff and having to watch patients suffer.
“These figures lay bare the appalling extent of long A&E delays in our area. Far too many people are having to wait 12 hours or more to be treated, which we know can have devastating consequences.
“The Conservative government has let the NHS crisis spiral out of control. They are letting patients in our community down badly, leaving them waiting in pain for the treatment they need.
“The Liberal Democrats are calling for an urgent rescue plan for our local health services. If patients could see their GP when they need to or get the care they need at home, it would free up hospital resources to treat people far more quickly.”