Promise of a new super drug hits the health section headlines today, as soil in the US state of Maine was found to contain a ‘super-antibiotic’ capable of wiping out otherwise lethal infections.
The Daily Mail reports of hope the new drug could become ‘a powerful weapon in the war against antibiotic resistance’, as no new antibiotic has hit the market for almost 30 years.
Meanwhile a political row surrounding overburdened A&E departments deepened as the Tories and Labour went head to head in Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday. Labour leader Ed Miliband attacked the Government for ‘betraying patients’ but was accused, in turn, for using the NHS as a ‘political football’, reports the BBC.
But the Prime Minister, who had claimed that A&Es were simply busy and in fact the NHS was performing better than ever before, was also put on the spot by health workers as one A&E doctor took it upon himself to tell the papers what things are really like.
In an open letter published by the Daily Mail A&E consultant Dr Robert Galloway, who works at at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, wrote: ‘The reality is that the crisis (yes it is a crisis not just busy) in the NHS, is shown up in the corridors of the A&E departments.
‘And if you don’t believe me, please join any of the thousands of A&E staff up and down the country who are all going through the same problems.
‘Then reality might kick in; seeing people in their 90s lying in a corridor as there is no bed to go to, patients who need to go to intensive care staying for hours upon hours in A&E whilst their condition deteriorates.’
Meanwhile, as 17 ‘overflowing’ hospitals going into emergency measures in just 48 hours, A&E clinical boss Dr Andrew Simpson, of North Tees Hospital in Stockton-on-Tees, told the Mirror that he had ‘seen nothing like it’ in 25 years as a doctor.
He said: ‘We’re getting to the point where all of our rooms in A&E are so full we can’t move any patients through the system. There is nothing left. We have reached the tipping point.’