January 31, 2023
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HOSPITALS are running out of oxygen and morgues are filling up with bodies as chaos sweeps through the NHS.

Patients are forced to wait up to 99 hours for a bed, and a record number of patients remain in “grossly overcrowded” emergency and emergency departments.

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Chaos has gripped the NHS as extreme waiting times have been reported and mortuaries near capacity.1 credit

The combination of influenza and Covid has led to a shortage of vital portable oxygen, and cancellations of visits and surgeries have become widespread.

There have been reports of problems with the oxygen supply to a hospital in Hull, nottinghamLiverpool, Crewe, Derby and Durham.

One National Health Service worker from the southwest said Sunday Times: “We are now at a stage where there is not enough oxygen in the cylinders to treat patients in the corridors, ambulances and in our waiting area in the emergency room.

“Combined with the flu, Covid and other respiratory illnesses, this goes beyond third world medicine.”

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Dozens NHS trusts have declared critical incidents, and some have even been forced to resort to measures in the midst of a pandemic.

GP in Surrey hospital mortuaries were reportedly reported to be reaching their limits.

Meanwhile, Health and Care Partnership staff in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes were told there was a “real possibility” that patients would have to be treated in “tents on hospital grounds,” according to a Sunday Times report.

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Bed wait times have reached extreme levels, with one patient at Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wiltshire, waiting 99 hours after admission.

The patient was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance but remained on the trolley for more than four days before the bed was vacated.

Another patient in York waited 40 hours for an ambulance, and a third, this time in Shropshire, spent 30 hours in an ambulance outside the hospital.

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A little girl from Oxford had no luck even with a cart.

Three-year-old Heidi was forced to sleep in chairs after hours while waiting to be treated for scarlet fever.

Her father, Tom Hook, posted a photo of her online with the caption: “Exhausted, dehydrated and battling multiple diseases, this is the best the NHS could do, five hours after arriving at the emergency room and 22 hours after we called for help.”

He said medics are doing their best in a “broken system” but “can’t handle the demand”.

One clinician at Swindon Hospital said: “We are broken and no one listens to us.”

In a leaked email to staff, John Westbrook, Great Western’s chief medical officer, said: “We are seeing the number of cases and [sickness] something we haven’t seen before in our clinical career.”

Nearly 95% of UK NHS hospital beds are full, with more than 12,000 occupied by patients ready to be discharged.

Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, called the situation “extremely serious”.

He said: “Too many people are just stuck in our emergency rooms right now.

“The predictable short-term shock from a strong flu season and the long-term effects of inadequate planning and investment in capacity, workforce, create a perfect storm.”

Chris Hopson, chief strategy officer for NHS England, said: “Over the last week or ten days we have seen a significant increase in influenza levels, along with a large number of people with Covid.

“This concurrent twin infection of influenza and Covid currently occupies 13,000 of the 95,000 NHS hospital beds, which is the upper bound of our ‘most likely’ planning scenario.”

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NHS England denies lack of oxygen tanks.

However, both they and BOC, the main supplier of oxygen to the NHS, acknowledged that demand for it has skyrocketed.



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