British newspaper The Mirror on Wednesday published an exclusive story revealing that more than half of accident and emergency (A&E) units in England have failed to “meet minimum standards.”
It reported that its investigation found 106 out of 197 units were either rated “inadequate” or as “requiring improvement” to be good.
“Our examination of Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports into every hospital trust paints an alarming picture of A&E wards stretched to breaking point,” the London-based media said.
Citing cases such as ambulance queues, staff shortages, and instances where experts found “misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of sepsis,” it said the National Health Service (NHS) was “expected to be plunged into its worst winter crisis.”
Nicola Wise, director of secondary and specialist care from CQC, said in the report that the regulator called out “poor care” but also escalated concerns where a national solution was needed.
According to NHS data, about 2.2 million people attended A&E departments in England in October, with 44,655 people waiting more than 12 hours from a decision to admit to actually being admitted.
The Mirror reported that the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said the pressures on A&E were made worse by a lack of beds elsewhere in hospitals and by the crisis in adult social care. ■