Shocking state of NHS laid bare by nurse in brutally honest speech

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This is the moment a nurse warns A&E patients that some of them will be waiting 13 hours to be seen, with no beds available in the department.

The dire state of the NHS in 2022 was laid bare in her speech in the waiting room of Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex.

Latest NHS figures show a record 24,000 people are waiting 12 or more hours in A&E every month before medics get to them — three times the target.

But these dire statistics are just the tip of the iceberg – with more than six million people now waiting for treatment overall in England.

The new footage, taken on the evening of June 6, was taken by a car crash victim who went home after the announcement, despite being in pain.

‘We’ve got 170 patients in the department, there are 90 patients waiting to be seen at the moment’, the staff member tells the room. ‘Our current wait time for a doctor is seven-and-a-half hours.

‘I estimate by the time I go home in the morning at 8 o’clock some of you will still be waiting because the waits will get up to 13 hours.

‘There are currently no beds in the trust, we’re trying to make space if we can but if people are admitted there’s a chance they’ll stay in A&E overnight.

‘We will do our best to make you comfortable but please don’t expect you will be going direct to a ward because that might not happen.’

Family and friends sitting with patients were then asked to leave due to the waiting room already being packed out.

It comes after NHS staff who are run off their feet offered a 3% salary rise, which Boris Johnson has been warned is a ‘wage cut in all but name’.

Hospitals are currently setting up food banks for health workers as the cost of living crisis spirals out of control.

Responding to the video, bosses at the Princess Alexandra said they were ‘currently experiencing extremely high demand’.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said a 13-hour wait in A&E was ‘not what anyone wants to see’ after being played the footage on BBC.

He continued: ‘Because of the impact of Covid… we know already from our NHS estimates, we think some 11 to 13 million people stayed away from the NHS because of the pandemic.

’Many of those people are coming forward, many of those to A&E, and we’re seeing very high levels of demand. That is a real challenge for the NHS across the system.

‘What we’re doing about it is investing record amounts including in ambulance trusts, the 111 calling service that now has more call handlers than ever before, we put in just last year additional emergency £400 million for A&E facilities across the country.

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‘So I think the NHS is doing everything it possibly can be doing. The waiting times are improving but it’s not what anyone wants to see, those kinds of waits.’

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) has previously warned that difficulties getting appointments with GPs were leading to ‘dangerous crowding’ in emergency departments. 

In November, the Care Quality Commission published a report that rated the Princess Alexandra Hospital as ‘requires improvement’ overall.

The emergency department was said to be ‘inadequate’ – with inspectors allegedly being forced to intervene after seeing two deteriorating patients waiting in a corridor.

Stephanie Lawton, chief operating officer at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, told Metro: ‘We are currently experiencing extremely high demand for our emergency care services and have seen a significant increase in attendances in our emergency department.

‘Our teams are working hard to assess and treat patients as quickly and effectively as possible to reduce delays, prioritising those in most clinical need.

‘The public can help us to ease pressures by using the NHS 111 service for healthcare advice in non-urgent cases. As ever, please continue to call 999 or attend the emergency department for urgent and life-threatening emergencies.’

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