NHS Tracker: How is the NHS in your area coping?

NHS Tracker: How is the NHS in your area coping?

By Nick Triggle
Health correspondent


With pressure on hospitals growing, the BBC has launched an NHS Tracker to allow people to find out how their local services are coping.

The tracker will run throughout winter showing the latest data on waits for emergency treatment where people live across England, Wales and Scotland.

It comes as hospitals are struggling to see and treat patients quickly enough.

Delays in many areas are the worst on record with NHS leaders saying patients are being put at risk.

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The latest data released by the NHS shows:

  • A quarter of patients who turn up at A&E wait over four hours in England and Scotland with waits in Wales even worse
  • In some hospitals nearly half of patients spend more than four hours in A&E
  • Those that need to be admitted on to wards in England – the sickest and most seriously ill – face further long delays before being found a bed on a ward. Nearly one in three in England wait over four hours with one in 36 waiting over 12
  • In the first week of December, more than a fifth of patients in England arriving at hospitals in an ambulance were caught up in queues because paramedics could not handover patients to A&E staff

Hospital bosses have told the BBC that the problems have got so bad that frail and ill patients are being left overnight on chairs and trolleys because staff are struggling to keep up.

Both the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) and NHS Providers, which represents hospitals, have warned that this is causing over-crowding, which is putting lives at risk.

NHS Providers deputy chief executive Saffron Cordery said the NHS was facing a “very difficult” period.

“The NHS won’t fall over. It never does. But the current pressures are risking patient safety, quality of care and staff health and wellbeing.”

She said the problems were being compounded by workforce shortages.

The RCEM said the situation was “extremely worrying and dangerous for patients”.

NHS England said the health service had experienced one of its busiest ever months.

They pointed to a particular problem discharging patients – data shows more than one in 10 beds are occupied by patients who no longer need care, but cannot leave because there is no support available in the community.

The NHS Tracker has been produced by Christine Jeavans, Wesley Stephenson, Nick Triggle and Ellen Clowser. Development by Alexandra Nicolaides and Becky Rush, design by Lilly Huynh.

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