The recent NHS England figures regarding A&E waiting times in Lincolnshire paint a worrying picture about the current state of emergency healthcare.
This is mirrored across the rest of England, with the national average coming in below the Government’s target of 95 per cent of patients being seen within four hours.
Despite the best efforts of doctors and other health care staff, their hands remain tied as the Government continually fails to match increasing demands on services with sufficient investment.
In June 2016, the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust was well below the national average.
These figures follow a spate of recent reports that serve as a clear warning that our health service is at breaking point.
Indeed, the recent shortage of A&E staff in Lincolnshire has led to the temporary closure of Grantham’s A&E department at night.
We can see the damaging knock-on effect that bed and staff shortages are having in A&E departments leading to delays in admissions with patients sometimes admitted to an inappropriate ward or, in some cases, left waiting on trolleys.
As we currently face an unprecedented NHS crisis, these alarming figures should serve as a wake up call that more targeted investment is needed in this vital area of healthcare.
Dr Anthea Mowat
British Medical Association