Winter NHS crisis to last until the summer
The British Medical Association believes A&E waiting time targets being missed will continue until the summer.
The BMA said:
"Traditionally the summer offers a period of respite for the NHS. While attendances at A&E tend to increase, bed occupancy falls as emergency admissions go down. With more beds available, trusts can improve performance against the four-hour wait target and cut down on things like trolley waits.
"However, in terms of performance and demand, this summer months looks likely to mirror the winters of just two or three years ago. The best-case scenario would see emergency admissions, trolley waits and patients waiting over four hours reached the same levels as they did in the first three months of 2015, while the worst-case scenario would see them reach similar levels as in the winter of 2016.
"The implications for trusts are that winter contingency plans continue to remain in place; for example, the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust is planning to keep its extra winter capacity open until the summer.
"As the process of dealing with the fallout of massive spikes in demand and pressures during the winter months now extends into summer, it begins to overlap with the early stages of planning for the following winter. The winter crisis has been replaced by a year-round crisis."Published: by Radio NewsHub