Latest Covid hospital admissions have reached 1,000 across Greater Manchester or 17% of all hospital beds. Pressure is rising on the NHS which is already facing increased waiting times in Accident and Emergency Departments and long ambulance waits outside. The latest figures available for the Royal Oldham Hospital show that less than half – 43% – of A&E patients met the 4 hour target and over 1,000 waited more than 12 hours to be treated in March 2022. 143 ambulances waited over an hour to transfer patients to hospital.

National data for June shows ambulances took an average of 51 minutes and 38 seconds to respond to emergency calls such as heart attacks and strokes. Nearly two thirds of respondents to a Royal College of Nursing survey 1 said emergency care is taking place in settings such as hospital corridors and waiting rooms rather than on wards.

The Royal College of Nursing General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen described the situation as “scandalous” and said treating patients in inappropriate care settings must not become the “new normal”.

She added: “We’re in the situation largely because of the failure of governments across the UK to address the nursing workforce crisis, which has seen more than 25,000 nurses leave the profession in the last year alone.”

Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said ‘I am very worried about what all this means for patients, residents and NHS staff. Staff shortages across the NHS are partly responsible for poor performance but Covid sickness absence is also rising and adding to the pressure. I am struck by the high numbers of people who can’t be discharged form hospital because social care is not available – in June there were over 11,000 people every day still in hospital because of this’.

‘The Conservative Government’s National Insurance increase is intended to raise £12bn for the NHS and social care. Councillor Brownridge added “Oldham Council provides good adult care services but despite investing the social care levy every year, the service is very stretched.

‘The Government’s social care changes don’t come into force until April 2023 and even then, won’t deal with the underlying issues of low pay and growing demand for services. We need urgent action to free up hospital beds and get the whole system flowing again. This means doing more now to improve the capacity of social care services. Labour’s National Care Service is the long-term answer but the Tories need to step up to deal with the crisis of their own making’.

Councillor Barbara Brownridge
Councillor Barbara Brownridge
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