Support to discharge patients “central” to releasing pressure on NHS – Dr Mark Holland

Commenting on a report broadcast today by the BBC which found only one of the UK’s 13 ambulance services is meeting the target to reach patients with life-threatening conditions within eight minutes, Dr Mark Holland, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said:

“This is a timely review of the pressures facing ambulances services across the country and the picture is indicative of the wider and precarious problem we face.

“The NHS has been under significant strain for a sustained period and the feeling among clinicians on the ground – particularly in acute and emergency care – is that we’ve been struggling much earlier than usual.

“The government has continuously failed to acknowledge the scale of the crisis in social care and the record numbers of delayed discharges in our hospitals as a result – a significant factor in the build-up of pressure on our hospitals.

“Having the support and infrastructure in place to discharging medically-fit patients safely is central to releasing pressure on emergency departments, acute medical units and ambulance services.

“It essential that clinical and political leaders ramp up the pressure and hold the health secretary and government to account on this issue before it is too late.”

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