“We entered this winter in the worst state of affairs” according to Dr. Taj Hassan, President of the Royal College of emergency medicine.

He called for an “absolute and urgent need” of extra assistance in coping with the emergency department and its rising patients.

No less than fifty trusts have issued their own alerts this month, requesting urgent action as they struggle to cope with the immense pressure of increasing patient numbers and available beds.

Yes, you heard right, Fifty trusts!! This accounts for a staggering third of all hospital trusts in England issuing such alerts. These alerts are substantiated by figures recorded on a new tracking system that has been put into action this winter.

The new “Operational Pressures escalation levels” system is in replacement of the old black or red alerts.

Escalating pressures are evident with lack of full time staff and locums, funding issues, shortage of beds and on going care, fuelled by the natural winter increase. These pressures all contribute towards a compromise in patient care.

Patients continue to report of a long wait for medicine and anti – biotic’s, general assistance and for an actual bed.

As a country, surely we have to take some responsibility for ourselves and help our ailing NHS to thrive in any way we can?

In the immediate months way we can certainly avoid going to A&E unless it is an actual emergency.  The public can also help hugely by making more of their local pharmacies and calling the NHS helpline for assistance and advice wherever possible.

Is it time for some of that old British, stiff upper lip? Less moaning and more doing? The Government and public working collectively to improve our beloved NHS.

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