Therese Coffey reveals she was told to go home after a nine-hour A&E wait this summer but was quickly treated at another NHS hospital just three miles away the next day
- The Health Secretary has detailed her experience in the House of Commons
- It illustrates the scale of the NHS emergency supplies crisis
- Tens of thousands of Britons have to wait 12 hours every month for their victims
- Her account came as she unveiled her NHS rescue plan, including her key pledge that patients will be able to see a GP within two weeks
Therese Coffey revealed today how she had to wait nine hours in the emergency room this summer just to be told to go home.
The Health Secretary’s own experience, told in the House of Commons, illustrates the scale of the NHS emergency supplies crisis.
Tens of thousands of Britons have to wait 12 hours every month for their victims.
dr Describing her own horrific A&E delay, Coffey told MPs she was treated quickly after visiting another nearby hospital the next day.
Her account came as she unveiled her NHS rescue plan, including her key pledge that patients will be able to see a GP within two weeks.
The Health Secretary’s own experience, told in the House of Commons, illustrates the scale of the NHS emergency supplies crisis
NHS data released today shows 1.14 million Britons spent at least half a day in waiting rooms or corridors between April 2021 and March 2022
Promising a “laser-like” focus on tackling problems across healthcare, she claimed there are “too many disparities in access and care that people are receiving across the country.”
Labor said the message Dr. Coffey conveyed to patients effectively amounted to “getting on your bike” and finding treatment elsewhere.
As she answered questions about her contingency plan in the House of Commons, she shut down rumors that she was considering ending the four-hour emergency room wait.
According to current guidelines, 95 percent of patients should be admitted, transferred or discharged within 240 minutes.
Emergency department data shows three in 10 Brits were forced to wait longer than four hours in emergency departments in August, while nearly a thousand waited 12 hours a day (monthly NHS England data which differs from NHS Digital dataset).
Ambulance response times recovered slightly in August, but the time it took paramedics to arrive at the scene was still well above target
But the goal has not been met since 2015. During this period there were four prime ministers.
dr Coffey said: “I can say with absolute certainty that the goal for a four-hour wait in the ER will not change.
“I think it’s important, and I’m going to share a personal experience with you recently. It wasn’t until July that I went to the emergency room, I waited almost nine hours myself to see a doctor and I still haven’t received treatment.
“I was asked to come back the next day so I went to another hospital just three miles away and I was examined and treated appropriately.
“That’s the kind of variation we’re seeing across the NHS.”
However, social media users questioned whether she really needed an emergency room as she could “wait and go home.”
It comes after damning figures last week showed more than a million patients faced 12-hour waits in busy emergency rooms between April 2021 and March 2022.
NHS statistics showed the toll was three times higher than the same period last year.
It made last year the busiest ever in the ER as casualty units battled Covid as well as the knock-on effects of the pandemic and the day-to-day pressures.
The NHS says the current crisis is being driven by so-called ‘bed blockers’, which Dr. Coffey has also sworn.
Another of their immediate priorities is access issues with primary care physicians, which leading experts say are increasing pressure in the ER as patients resort to ERs because they cannot have their symptoms examined by a doctor.