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COVID-19 patients are being admitted to hospital every 30 seconds, the NHS England chief executive said today as a union warned that ambulance services were “collapsing.”
The NHS has never been in a more precarious position with hospitals and staff under “extreme pressure,” Sir Simon Stevens has said.
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, he said: “Since Christmas Day we’ve seen another 15,000 increase in the inpatients in hospitals across England, that’s the equivalent of filling 30 hospitals full of coronavirus patients.
“Staggeringly, every 30 seconds across England another patient is being admitted to hospital with coronavirus.”
The NHS boss’s stark warnings came as a new study by GMB union found that three out of four ambulance workers said that they were at “breaking point.”
Respondents of the survey of 2,000 members gave harrowing testimonies from the front line, including from those who had seen patients die in ambulances while waiting in queues to enter hospitals.
Another said that they had seen a taxi pull up to the ambulance bay carrying a dead man with his wife “shouting for help” and another said they had never seen “staff sat on station at the start of the shift so frightened (almost to tears) to go out on an ambulance.”
GMB national officer Rachel Harrison said: “This cannot go on — something has got to give.
“Ambulance staff are going off sick in droves while the service collapses around them, despite their heroic efforts.”
A further 631 people who tested positive for Covid-19 died in hospital today, according to NHS England.
Scotland recorded 1,341 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours toay but no new deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 28 days.
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