Full to capacity means stressful working conditions, delayed diagnosis, Surgeons having to do other work just to keep the hospitals going, and higher risk of cross infections. Waiting lists are increasing, but more so in Wales.. To cap it all there is a record undercapacity in nurses as reported in the Health Service Journal
Waiting times in the Welsh NHS continue to lag behind the health service in England in most key categories for treatment and diagnosis, according to the latest statistics.
Directly comparable figures show the biggest gap was in the wait for hip operations, up by a fifth in 2015-16.
The average wait for hip operations in England was 76 days while in Wales it was 226 days.
But waiting times in Wales for heart by-pass surgery fell significantly.
In 2014-15 the average wait in Wales was 111 days. It fell to 43 days in 2015-16.
Twice as many hospitals turned ambulances away last week as they did in the same week last year, new figures show.
Health bosses warned the public that they should not add to pressures on the health service by going to A&E or their GP when suffering from the flu or norovirus and asked people to “do their bit” to check on vulnerable relatives and neighbours.
Hospital beds are essentially full, at 95.8 per cent, up from 94.8 per cent the week before and higher than in 2016. High levels of bed occupancy can disrupt the smooth flow of patients through treatment…., said: “Those who get infected with norovirus will usually make a full recovery within one to two days. However, it is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, especially in the very young or elderly. Good hygiene is essential to preventing infection, this includes thorough hand washing after using the toilet and before eating or preparing foods.”
Health chiefs also warned that the expected severe cold weather over the next few days could be dangerous and pose a health risk to vulnerable patients and people suffering chronic diseases.
Dr Thomas Waite, of the extreme events team at Public Health England, said: “The cold weather is forecast to continue for several more days, and in periods of cold people with long term health conditions, very young children and older people are at greatest risk of ill health….
HSJ:19 January, 2017