Up to 500 dying every week because of UK hospital delays – physician

Lazy eyes listen


Delays in British emergency departments could result in 300 to 500 deaths per week, according to Royal College of Emergency Medicine President Dr Adrian Boyle.

According to NHS England data, 37,837 patients had to wait more than 12 hours to be admitted to emergency departments in November, an increase from 10,646 in November 2021. Although December figures have not yet been released, Boyle told the Times that he would be “amazed” if they were not the worst on record.

“What we’re seeing now in terms of these long waits is associated with increased mortality, and we believe that somewhere between 300-500 people die each week as a result of delays and problems with urgent and emergency care,” he said, according to multiple British media outlets on Sunday.

“We need to get a handle on this,” he continued. “We need to increase our capacity within our hospitals, and we need to make sure that people aren’t just funneled into the ambulance service and emergency department.”

While hospitals are typically more crowded in the winter, this season saw strikes by nurses and ambulance personnel in December, as well as a virulent influenza outbreak in recent weeks. According to NHS data, 3,746 people were hospitalized with the flu per day in the week preceding Christmas, up from 2,088 per day the previous week.

While Covd-19 cases remain low in the UK, staff absences due to the virus increased by more than 47% in December compared to November, according to the Guardian.