Hospital casualty wings were at their busiest for two years last week

Hospital casualty wings were at their busiest for two years last week as non-Covid patients returned amid delayed surgery fears

  • Hospital A&E departments were at their busiest for up to two years last week 
  • The Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) said the outlook was ‘grim’ 
  •  Dr Nick Scriven said acute medical units risked being overwhelmed

Hospital  A&E departments were at their busiest for up to two years last week as non-Covid patients began returning, emergency doctors have warned.

The Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) said the outlook was ‘grim’ while high numbers of patients could disrupt efforts to ensure people get routine treatments such as hip and knee operations.

Dr Nick Scriven said acute medical units risked being overwhelmed, adding: ‘We are operating with reduced clinical space due to Covid infection control measures.’

Hospital A&E departments were at their busiest for up to two years last week as non-Covid patients began returning, emergency doctors have warned (File image) 

He said: ‘This is not a sustainable plan and trusts need to urgently look at how they can maintain and improve flow right through hospitals and not ignore urgent care while they strive to meet enforced targets on the return of up to 70 per cent of elective activity this month.’

The NHS Confederation estimated in March that there was a backlog of six million patients with conditions that need treatment which have been delayed.

Dr Susan Crossland, president of SAM, said: ‘While the focus switches to a return to some sort of normality, it is important those in positions of power balance their desire to say what people want to hear with the realities of what we face and the truth is we are far from normality in the NHS and, certainly for acute and emergency medicine, everything still looks quite grim.’

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