15:40 Hospitals are on the brink of a ‘glut’ of closures, with some A&E departments and services for the elderly among some of the services to be ‘stripped out and centralised’, NHS bosses have warned.
The Telegraph reports that hospitals in every area of the country have been told to find departments which are struggling to be sustained – in a bid to tackle the staffing and financial crisis crippling the health service.
NHS leaders warned that the plans, to be rolled out in the autumn, could mean further A&E departments could close – and that such initiatives were necessary to shore up the safety of services – following warnings that the health service is at ‘breaking point.’
12:50 Dr Anthea Mowat, chair of the BMA’s Representative Body, said: ‘This is yet another example of patients being failed because the Government doesn’t appear to have a solution to a workforce crisis in many parts of the NHS.
‘Emergency medicine in particular is experiencing a recruitment and retention crisis. This is crippling at a time when we need more of these doctors to keep up with rising demand on services. It also creates a vicious circle, adding to pressures on existing doctors, further increasing the risk of burnout and making these areas of medicine less attractive to doctors in training.’
11:40 A hospital in the Midlands has temporarily closed its children A&E services down due to staffing shortages.
Sky News reports that the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust stopped the services at County Hospital in Stafford because they were ‘not currently clinically safe’.
Dr Ann Marie Morris, clinical director and emergency medicine consultant, said: ‘People view the Children’s Emergency Centre as a safety net, but this is only the case when the right number of professionally trained, experienced staff are in place at all times.
‘This is not currently the case, and as we cannot resolve this in the short term, the only responsible course of action we can take is to suspend the service.’
The Daily Mail reports that this is a rise from five identified previously, and includes cancers of the stomach, pancreas, gall bladder, ovary, thyroid, blood, liver and brain.