AN A&E consultant who works for the trust which runs the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath has written an open letter to the government.
Dr Rob Galloway, consultant at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust – which is under severe pressure - accuses David Cameron of not acknowledging the escalating ‘crisis’.
The letter reads: “As someone who works in A&E, I hear with interest that you have said that things in A&E are just busy and we are preforming well and not in a crisis.
“I though, would disagree. Maybe it is just your sense of reality, which has made you say this or perhaps a lack of comprehension of the words busy Vs crisis.”
Dr Galloway then lists a number of issues including hospitals declaring major incidents just to cope with normal winter pressures’, and some hospitals having to put up tents in their car parks.
He said: “Is it not a crisis that up and down the country thousands and thousands of patients are being looked after in corridors because there are no free cubicles for them to be seen in?
“Is it not a crisis that many hospitals are declaring major incidents (to just cope with normal winter pressures) and some are having tents built in their car parks?
“Is it not a crisis that patients who need discharging from the hospital can’t because social services can’t cope with demand? This means there are no free beds for the patients to go to and so they stay in A&E for hours upon hours.
“Is it not a crisis when thousands of patients are having their operations cancelled because there are no beds for them to get into?”
Dr Galloway finishes the open letter saying: “Please Cameron and Hunt, stop thinking about your political ideology and start thinking about our patients.
“Remember the NHS was set up after world war two during a period of unprecedented austerity – stop destroying it under the name of austerity.”
Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath is urging people to only go to A&E if it a real emergency.
A message on their homepage reads: “We are currently under severe pressure - please don’t come to A&E unless you are in need of emergency treatment.
“Non-emergency patients are likely to have an extremely long wait and will be taking staff away from caring for patients who need emergency or life-saving care.
“Because of this severe pressure some appointments are being cancelled but we will call the patients affected directly. If you haven’t heard from us, please attend your appointment as normal.
“Please bear with us during this time of unprecedented demand and help us to prioritise patients who are in most urgent need.”