1. ITV Report

NHS crisis: new figures show severe strain on our region's hospitals

New figures released by NHS England show the true extent of the winter crisis that's put a severe strain on our hospitals and ambulance services.

Thousands of routine operations have been cancelled, ambulances queued outside of hospitals waiting to discharge patients and there are increased wait times in A&E.

In our region alone, there was 'unsafe' levels of beds occupied in ALL of the region's hospitals, over 11,000 calls made to local NHS 111 services and SIX hospital trusts are listed on the highest alert level.

The statistics show the unprecedented pressure put on our services over the busy festive period.

The Prime Minister will continue to visit NHS Trusts today Credit: ITV

A poll by the Press Association revealed 16 NHS trusts across England with accident and emergency departments have been put on the highest alert level, (Level 4). These hospitals in our region declared the most severe level of of "operational pressure":

  • Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust
  • Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust
  • Medway NHS Foundation Trust
  • Isle of Wight NHS Trust
  • Portsmouth NHS Trust
  • Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
Patients were warned to only attend A&E in life threatening situations Credit: ITV

NHS England figures also emphasised the severe volume of bed occupancy up to 31st December 2017.

ALL of the hospital trusts in our region were deemed to have an unsafe level of bed occupancy. The NHS states that the 'safe' level of beds in use is 85%. Many hospitals in our region show figures of more than 95%.

The national average peaked at 91.7%

Frimley Park NHS Trust
Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Trust
Buckinghamshire NHS Trust
Poole NHS Trust
Isle of Wight NHS Trust
Nearly half a million calls were made to the NHS 111 service in the UK Credit: PA

NHS England stated that over 480,400 calls were made from across the UK to the 111 service in the week up to New Years Eve. The highest ever number in a single week. The following statistics show a breakdown of 111 calls made to our local NHS trusts.

South East Coast Ambulance Services
East Kent
Isle of Wight
Ambulance delays also increased, with many patients waiting hours to enter hospital Credit: ITV

For the full story, our reporter Penny Silvester has more.