A&E delays are costing lives.
That’s the view of almost three in four people across the northwest according to an independent consumer survey this week.
Only 27 percent of people questioned felt assured lives were not at stake.
The findings come after recent reports that delays facing A&E patients have plunged to their worst levels in a decade.
Only 91.8 percent of patients were seen in four hours between January and March, while the NHS was reported to have failed to hit the 95 percent target for the 26th week in a row.
A northwest Solicitor who specialises in medical negligence has slammed the ‘frightening trend’ in A&E delays and has called upon all candidates in the General Election race to boost investment into A&Es.
“People are told time and again that A&Es are a last resort for people who are in genuine crisis,” says Sarah Sykes of Been Let Down.
“That’s the correct message and I believe that most people who go to A&E are in genuine need of urgent medical treatment. Therefore, if the target is to see people within four hours, what does that mean for the one in 10 of us nationally who are not being seen during that timeframe?
‘Opportunities to save lives may be missed – and with more than half a million people having attended a major A&E department so far this year, that’s a frightening trend.”
The concerns come at a time when official statistics have shown that the number and proportion of NHS hospital patients in England waiting more than 18 weeks to begin treatment have risen to their highest levels in almost seven years.
In February, nearly 40,000 admitted patients did not start consultant-led treatment within 18 weeks of referral – and more than 13,000 waited more than 26 weeks. The target is for 90 percent to receive treatment within 18 weeks, but only 87 percent did so.
“Let’s be frank: when hospitals are battling against the clock, the risk of negligence is even higher,” adds Sarah.
“We see cases all the time where mistakes have been made and opportunities missed that have devastating consequences for families – and lead to costly claims against the public purse. Whoever is voted into power on 7 May needs to prioritise increasing investment into A&E to ensure people have access to a swift – and most importantly – quality-led, safe urgent care service.”
Been Let Down are a group of highly professional and experienced medical negligence Solicitors – to find out more please click here.