Alarming: A&E chiefs from 68 hospitals warn patients are ‘dying prematurely’


Patients suffering amid intolerable’ safety risks

Within hours of Prime Minister Theresa May and Health secretary Jeremy Hunt apologising amid the crisis, it has now emerged that heads of more than 60 A&E units have written to May saying the health service is “chronically underfunded” and warning that patients are “dying prematurely”.

New data from NHS England shows the health service is operating at a poor level. Official figures show A&E performance at major units is the worst on record, with fears the situation will worsen further.

Hospitals are reportedly overcrowded, struggling to cope and running out of beds.

Chris Hopson of NHS Providers had told media: “Too often, in too many places, standards of care are compromised and patients’ safety put at risk.”

Hopson added that the government needed to find a long-term funding solution for the NHS in England. The Department of Health and Social Care in England said there was a “great deal of pressure” on A&E departments, but added that plans were in place to improve social care to free up hospital places as well as for the biggest expansion in doctor training places in the history of the NHS.