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A&E staff face 'breaking point'

Prolonged wintry conditions or another outbreak of norovirus will see A&E departments across the country reach "breaking point". The warning from NHS leaders came as surveyed medics, nurses and voters all claimed patients are at an increasing risk.

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Nurses warn patients are at risk from strains on A&E

Nurses have painted a grim picture of compromised care in A&E departments. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive

Nine out of 10 nurses working in A&E departments believe current pressures on emergency services are putting patients in danger, according to a new survey.

A poll of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members found 89% of staff thought the people they were meant to be caring for were being put at risk.

Some 85% said patient safety is being compromised by the strain on the departments.

More than three-quarters (79%) cited increased attendances at A&E as the reason for increased pressure.

And 74% blamed inappropriate attendances at A&E where patients could have been treated by primary care services or by calling NHS 111.

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