Health & Fitness 'Scared and frustrated' Berkshire hospital patients waiting up to a year for treatment
Women battling chest pains driven 300 miles to London hospital
Dr Alison Durkin, 61, was driven 300 miles to Charing Cross Hospital to be seen for chest pains because of 30-ambulance queues outside her local A&E at Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro by paramedics.She was forced to wait outside A&E in an ambulance for six hours because there was no room for medics to hand her over.After sitting in a queue of 30 ambulances, Dr Durkin was eventually admitted before being discharged by a junior doctor who suggested she had Covid. She tested negative the next day but her symptoms kept getting worse.
People waiting for treatment at hospitals across parts of Berkshire say they are 'scared and frustrated' due to the time it is taking for them to be seen. And patients say they are willing to go elsewhere to cut the waiting queue as some have waited a year to be treated.
A report has been released byacross the Frimley health and care integrated care system, including . The review has looked into the attitudes of people waiting to be treated and if any information or advice is given while patients wait.
GP staff numbers fall to lowest level on record
There were just 27,558 full-time equivalent, fully-qualified GPs working in England last month, down 1.6 per cent on the 18,000 recorded in June 2021. There were 29,000 working in June 2017.There were around 27,500 full-time, fully-qualified family doctors working for NHS England last month, down from about 28,000 in June 2021 and 1,500 fewer than five years ago.
One hundred and eighty-two people responded to the survey and covered Wexham Park, Frimley Park, and Heatherwood hospitals. Out of the 182, 60 of the respondents said they have received treatment since January 2021 while 111 were still waiting at the time of the survey, which was published on July 22.
Twenty-five per cent of those still needing treatment have been waiting for up to 12 months and a further 11 per cent have been waiting for up to two years. Meanwhile, 17 per cent of patients who received care since January 2021 waited a year to be seen whereas nine per cent waited 24 months.
A majority of respondents said they were “scared, frightened, and frustrated” that they have to wait a long period to be treated with no information or advice given to take care of themselves and their symptoms while they wait. They were also not offered community groups, mental health support, charity details, or someone to contact if conditions got worse.
The hospitals where you face the longest waits for surgery in London
An investigation revealed over 50% of patients waited longer than 18 weeks for an operationAt the worst performing hospital trusts (in The Countess of Chester Hospital Trust) as few as four in 10 patients began treatment within the four-month target. For the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - which manages Hillingdon Hospital and Mount Vernon hospital - 52 per cent of patients were seen for operations within 18 weeks of being referred. It isn't clear how each hospital compares to each other on wait times.
Some said that the wait had impacted their. One patient who has been waiting up to a year for a lumber prolapse operation, said: “[I’m] in chronic pain and just fed up with being kept in the dark on when the procedure will happen.”
Another said: “Without a diagnosis the wait creates further anxiety. My mental health is generally very good but this six-month wait (with still no idea how much longer) does create anxiety.” Sixty per cent of patients said they want to be updated on waiting times every month, while 11 respondents wanted more information about how to manage their condition and pain management.
The Covid-19 pandemic caused non-urgent treatments to be postponed, causing waiting times to be at their highest since 2007. The report states thatcan be ‘huge,’ and potentially leave people in ‘pain’ that can affect their physical and mental health.
Hundreds wait for hours in North East A&Es - after heatwave added to NHS pressure in July
NHS emergency departments continue to be under extreme pressure according to the latest national figures. At the County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust, 164 patients spent more than 12 hours in A&E waiting to be admitted to hospital across the month. 18 people were in the same boat at the QE in Gateshead, along with a single patient at the RVI.
The report said: “It is essential that while people wait for treatment, they get support to manage their health and wellbeing in a way that is best for them. If someone needs hospital treatment, they should be receiving advice and information from the NHS about how to look after their health while they wait.
“They should be kept informed about the dates of their treatment and where they are on the waiting list.” Sixty-eight per cent of respondents said they were willing to be treated at another local hospital if it meant being treated sooner. 14 per cent told surveyors they were willing to move to any health facility within the UK if they could cut the queue.
One patient said: “I now have terminal Cancer which could have been caught earlier if I had seen my GP for an examination.” Meanwhile, another said: “I appreciate there is a long waiting list, but I’m truly frightened I will die suddenly. This is my heart we are talking about.”
Number of patients stuck in beds but fit to leave hospital on rise – NHS data .
New NHS figures show a rise in delayed discharges from hospital.NHS data analysed by the PA news agency shows increasing numbers of people in England are well enough to leave hospital but are taking up beds due to a lack of social care, support or accommodation in the community.