Tonight: A&E in Meltdown?

Tonight: A&E in Meltdown? ITV at 7.30pm Credit: ITV / Tonight

Watchdogs have concerns about safety at two thirds of England’s A&E departments, according to the latest Tonight programme.

Despite the best efforts of staff, the performance of A&Es is now as bad as it ever has been.

And a report by the Care Quality Commission confirms that overcrowding is leaving patient safety compromised.

Reporter Fiona Foster interviews Dr Taj Hassan the President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine who tells the programme:

Chris Hopson of NHS Providers runs the body that represents most of the hospital and ambulance chiefs around the country. He says:

Chris Hopson with Fiona Foster Credit: ITV / Tonight

The NHS is short of 2,000 emergency doctors, according to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.

And experts estimate that up to a third of A&E patients could be better treated elsewhere.

An ambulance passes by protestors unhappy about the closure of Chorley A&E Credit: ITV / Tonight

We meet an A&E patient, Jake, who explains that he rang half a dozen dentists about his toothache before arriving in casualty.

Major trauma in Bristol. But many visitors to A&E do not require immediate urgent care Credit: ITV / Tonight

A&E in Meltdown? is on ITV on Thursday 13 October at 7.30pm and on The ITV Hub shortly afterwards.

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Useful links:

  • If you’re unsure of when you should use your A&E then visit the Why A&E? website

  • If you are unsure where your nearest GP surgery is you can check here

  • Click here for more details about the NHS 111 service