Following the release of the latest NHS weekly performance data, Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said:
“Although flu rates might well have peaked, but they are still high and causing increased hospital admissions.
“Many units have ‘flu’ wards open and, with strict infection control processes as a result, each suspected case in a hospital causes additional stress to the bed management system with beds/bays having to be kept closed.
“Healthcare workers – especially junior doctors – are becoming increasingly anxious given the pressures they all work under very day and the deeply concerning court ruling in the Dr Bawa-Garba case.
“Rota gaps, staff shortages and IT issues are a daily occurrence in most of our units and need addressing urgently if we are to stabilise the health service in the coming weeks.
“The massive rise in admissions since Christmas is now being felt as pressure beyond emergency departments, with rising delayed discharges and longer stays.
“Many hospitals are still running at around 95% bed occupancy despite additional capacity being opened.
“Doctors in acute medicine are often the ones charged with looking after additional patients and have been under even greater strain since NHS had go ahead to return to ‘usual business’ which is a concern.”