LONDON (Reuters) – England’s National Health Service plans to start moving thousands of patients into nursing homes and elsewhere in the coming weeks in a bid to provide much-needed beds during one of the toughest winters.
The state health service, which provides free care to the entire population and was until recently a source of pride for many Britons, is overwhelmed after years of relatively little investment, the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and strikes. on the salaries of frontline workers.
Some patients are being treated in corridors and ambulances are lining up outside hospitals to ferry patients to emergency departments as doctors and nurses struggle to get patients out amid a shortage of staff and beds.
The government said in a statement that an additional 200 million pounds ($242 million) of funding would be available to purchase short-term care places. LE to update existing facilities.
The report did not say whether the NHS in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would allocate extra money for care beds.
The move from offloading some patients to other sites is a revival of a practice used by the NHS in England during the pandemic, when hospitals were looking to make as many beds as possible for Covid-19 patients to use.
“The NHS is under enormous pressure from Covid and influenza, and dealing with the backlash from the pandemic, the Strep A pandemic and impending strikes, this winter will be a serious challenge,” Health Secretary Steve Barclay said in a statement.
Barclays will go to parliament on Monday to outline further measures to ease the pressures the NHS is facing.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said last week that eliminating hospital waiting lists was one of his top five priorities for Britain. He said it may take longer than others to reach this goal.
The government previously announced additional funding for the NHS and Social Care, including 500 million pounds ($600 million) to demobilize patients, but the opposition Labor Party said the money had not yet reached the front lines and it was too late to change that. winter.
Health service figures show more than nine out of 10 hospital beds were occupied in the week before the new year, with 13,000 beds being evacuated each day from medically eligible patients.
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Andrew MacAskill; Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by David Holmes
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