Following ongoing severe weather across the UK and the release of the latest weekly NHS performance data, Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said:
“The severe winter weather is an added burden on top of the recent “usual” winter and today and the next few days will particularly stretch trusts with staff struggling to get to work and ambulance trusts having immense problems getting patients to and from hospitals.
“A lot of hospitals will cancel routine work over the next few days as a consequence of both of these.
“The latest weekly performance figures provide stark reading with 18,000 patients in hospital for more than 21 days and bed occupancy still at 95%.
“The National Emergency Pressures Panel met this week and issued a thank you and acknowledged worst winter ever with weeks more to go but no real practical help.
“There have been no words from he Secretary of State regarding the NHS going extra mile in this weather, yet we find ourselves in he midst of extreme conditions which have piled the pressure on our already-stretched hospitals.
“This week really has shown the passion, dedication, commitment and care of staff in our acute medical units and throughout hospitals in the most testing of conditions.
“If this winter doesn’t demonstrate the desperate need to bring planning forward then what would?”