More than 6,000 patients wait over 24 hours to be admitted to local hospitals

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A total of 6,067 patients waited more than 24 hours at A&E before being admitted to hospital at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust last year, Liberal Democrat Freedom of Information (FOI) requests have revealed.

The data showed staggering increases in the number of patients and pensioners waiting more than a day to be admitted to hospital in our area In 2019, 348 patients waited over 24 hours to be admitted to hospital following their arrival in A&E. For 2023, that number now stands at a shocking 6,067, a 1,643% increase.

Those aged 65 and over in our area have also experienced disturbing increases in 24-hour waits. In 2019, 221 over 65s in our area waited more than a day for a bed, last year this increased to over 4,359. Of those waiting 24-hours to be admitted to hospital after arriving at A&E last year, 72% were over 65.

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Nationally, 153,000 people waited over 24 hours to be admitted to hospital following their arrival in A&E in 2023. This is a shocking ten-fold increase on the just over 15,000 people who waited over 24 hours in 2019. Of those waiting 24 hours to be admitted to hospital in A&E last year, more than two-thirds were over 65.

Alison Bennett outside the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton.Alison Bennett outside the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton.
Alison Bennett outside the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine recently produced an analysis which showed that there were almost 300 excess deaths a week in A&E associated with long delays.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for an end to excessive A&E waits by increasing the number of fully staffed hospital beds, along with a long-term solution to the social care crisis so people aren’t left stuck in hospital waiting for care.

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Mid Sussex, Alison Bennett commented: “It is appalling that so many people in our area are being forced to put up with these terrifying waits, as our health service teeters on the brink.

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“Behind each one of these figures is a story of someone waiting in pain, worried sick about getting the care they need.

Doctors and nurses are working incredibly hard to help local people but are being let down by a lack of funding. It is not right that our community is suffering the consequences of this Conservative government’s neglect of local health services.

“These numbers expose the reckless damage done by this Conservative government’s neglect of the NHS and care. We desperately need more hospital beds and a long-term solution to the social care crisis, to end these devastating A&E delays.”

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