We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

NHS is struggling with Winter Crisis

January 6, 2017 11:24 PM
Originally published by South Central Region Liberal Democrats
  • 57 times over Christmas, hospitals were ordered to divert patients from overstretched A&Es
  • 92,480 emergency admissions in just 7 days
  • 34 major problems reported to NHS bosses as system creaks

Data released today by NHS Digital today shows the NHS on the edge of a Winter Crisis as data shows that Accident and Emergency is creaking under the pressure.

Data for just one week over Christmas shows how the NHS was struggling to cope.

The daily winter situation report (SITREP) will indicate where there are winter pressures on the NHS around the country such as A&E closures or diverts, cancelled operations and pressure on beds.


Tim Farron MP said "The Government must be honest with people. The NHS needs more money."

The report shows that 57 times over the festive period, there was an agreed temporary divert of patients to other A&E departments to provide temporary respite. This was not to meet a clinical need but down to pressure on the system.

According to NHS documents, diversion of patients as a result of lack of physical or staff capacity to deal with attendances or admissions should be an action of last resort and agreed with neighbouring trusts.

Last year, for the roughly equivalent period, A&E diverts happened only 20 times.

The data also showed that this year A&E departments had 92,480 emergency admissions through the door, which is 19% higher than over the New Year period last year.

Also operational problems as Accident and Emergency departments try to cope with Winter pressures jumped by about a third from 22 to 34 incidents.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:

"Over the festive period we saw the NHS creaking under the pressure and struggling to cope.

"Every year, our overstretched and underfunded NHS and care systems face unsustainable pressure in the winter months.

"Too many patients in the main, the frail or elderly finish their treatment but are left stranded in hospital unable to return home because the health and care system isn't able to give them the support they need.

"Hospitals become dangerously over-crowded, staff are put under impossible pressure and some of the most vulnerable patients are caused terrible and unnecessary distress.

"The Government must be honest with people. The NHS needs more money."


Notes to Editors - Today's NHS Winter Pressures report can be found here:

In comparison the 2015-16 report can be found here: We used 29th December to the 3rd of Jan as a comparitor.