NHS Confederation responds to Liberal Democrat figures on 'corridor care'

26 Apr 2024 12:33 PM

Matthew Taylor responds to Liberal Democrat Party figures on patients being cared for in corridors

Responding to the figures shared by the Liberal Democrats about elderly patients waiting over five days on hospital trolleys, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:

“These new figures paint a bleak but sadly not surprising picture of how long patients, particularly those who are elderly and more frail, are having to wait in A&E.

“The number of so-called trolley waits has risen significantly since the pandemic, following a decade of underinvestment coupled with rising demand from patients who have more complex needs.  

“The more unwell a patient is the greater the likelihood that they will need to be admitted to hospital, something which is reflected in the recent record number of emergency admissions. They are also likely to need to stay longer in hospital.  

“Our members continue to report how difficult it is to discharge patients into community or social care, which, in turn, is making it much harder to free up beds for patients coming through from A&E. This is creating bottlenecks throughout the urgent and emergency care system and creating a domino effect.

“Health leaders and their teams have been doing everything they can to keep patients safe and provide the best care possible, but are often having to rely on methods that were rarely used a decade ago. These include treating patients in corridors or overflow wards. This is not always safe for patients, frustrates staff who want to provide the best care possible, and must not become the new normal. But sometimes it may be a less risky option than leaving patients waiting in the back of ambulances queuing outside hospitals, so NHS staff are constantly having to do what they can to manage the risks to patient safety in very trying conditions.”