Oldham Labour - urgent action needed to tackle growing NHS crisis

Date published: 26 July 2022

Oldham Labour Councillor Barbara Brownridge insists 'urgent action' is required to ease the worrying NHS crisis.

Latest statistics indicate that Covid hospital admissions have reached 1,000 across Greater Manchester, or 17% of all hospital beds.

Pressure is rising on the NHS, which is already facing increased waiting times in Accident and Emergency Departments and long ambulance waits outside.

The latest figures available for the Royal Oldham Hospital show that less than half - 43% - of A&E patients met the four-hour target and over 1,000 waited more than 12 hours to be treated in March, 2022.

More than 140 ambulances waited over an hour to transfer patients to hospital.

National data for June shows ambulances took an average of 51 minutes and 38 seconds to respond to emergency calls such as heart attacks and strokes.

Nearly two thirds of respondents to a Royal College of Nursing survey said emergency care is taking place in settings such as hospital corridors and waiting rooms rather than on wards.

Cllr Brownridge, Oldham Council Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: "I am very worried about what all this means for patients, residents and NHS staff.

"Staff shortages across the NHS are partly responsible for poor performance, but Covid sickness absence is also rising and adding to the pressure.

"I am struck by the high numbers of people who can’t be discharged form hospital because social care is not available – in June there were over 11,000 people every day still in hospital because of this."

Cllr Brownridge added: “Oldham Council provides good adult care services, but despite investing the social care levy every year, the service is very stretched.

"The Government’s social care changes don’t come into force until April 2023 and even then won’t deal with the underlying issues of low pay and growing demand for services.

"We need urgent action to free up hospital beds and get the whole system flowing again.

"This means doing more now to improve the capacity of social care services.

"Labour’s National Care Service is the long term answer, but the Tories need to step up to deal with the crisis of their own making."

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