- 5 updates
David Cameron must listen to doctors and patients "cries for help" and act to ease the pressure on A&Es, the shadow health secretary has said.
After senior consultants told ITV News that departments were heading for a "winter crisis", Andy Burnham accused the Government of trapping A&Es in a "downward spiral".
Urgent action is needed to stop accident and emergency departments slipping into crisis this winter, according to senior hospital consultants.
Four emergency doctors have spoken to ITV News to voice their concerns that patient safety could be compromised due to the pressure on the NHS.
ITV News deputy political editor Chris Ship reports:
The safety of patients and long waiting times are among major concerns for senior doctors as winter approaches, as they warn of an impending crisis in the NHS during the cold season.
Dr Chris Moulton, vice presidents of the College of Emergency Medicine, told ITV News he and his colleagues were particularly concerned about the long waits being experienced by some.
He added that some patients were being discharged too soon in an effort to clear beds, which only ended up with them back in hospital again needing further treatment.
Qualified British nurses and doctors are fleeing the overstretched NHS and finding work overseas, a senior doctor has warned.
Dr Adrian Boyle, from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, is the head of quality for the College of Emergency Medicine and said he was hearing of patients “hanging around for hours and hours” in corridors on trolleys.
He told ITV News the situation in accident and emergency departments across the country was making life “very difficult” for staff and patients alike, and said they were losing a lot of staff to Australia.
Latest ITV News reports
Four consultants have told ITV News the Accident & Emergency departments at 50 NHS hospitals are already struggling as a crisis looms.