There's a crisis in the National Health Service. At least that's what the media has reported this week: Thousands of people having to wait hours to see a doctor and a government that is blaming this on higher numbers of people going to accident and emergency units.
The news reports also caused such a dip in confidence at the Conservative party headquarters that, as part of his regular Tuesday visits, the prime minister had to this week give a "motivational speech" to the staff, BuzzFeed News has learned.
But what do doctors think? Has the media overblown the situation? We asked a few.
A 25-year-old medic in central London said there's just not enough space:
People forget that the word 'bed' in NHS doesn't just mean the furniture... It means nurses and equipment.
When A/E is so packed that Resus [resuscitation units] has run out of space due to never ending blue calls... you get that one anaphylactic patient sitting in a trolley in a corridor with a registrar begging nurses to assist. It's awful and terrifying.
And a 24 year-old , who works at one of the major trauma centres in West Midlands, said people are waiting over five hours to see a doctor:
On Monday evening we had 3 bays [sections of a ward] in majors [acute care] to see patients in overnight – all 27 others were occupied with patients waiting for beds in the hospital so the wait time was over five hours.
Everyone is black alerting [noting that there are no free beds left and new patients at A&E should be sent to another hospital] every five minutes and it's not like we can't deal with what shows up at the door, we just can't shove them out the other end (and then they all end up with a hospital acquired pneumonia or fall or something and get really sick so we cant discharge them.)
More than half of our head and neck cancer surgeries were cancelled on the Tuesday and this is also why people are waiting for operations for longer. If the cancer surgeries are being cancelled (and they have a 62 day limit for head and neck) what hope does anyone else have?
If all our patients left the hospital when we want them to and didn't have to wait for care home spaces it probably wouldn't be this bad. (Care homes and hospices ftw)
I forgot to add we're one of three major trauma centres for the entire west mids - so apparently we're supposed to have space for all the emergencies from all the other hospitals in the region.
The doctors interviewed said they would only speak under condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions from their superiors.
Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Siraj Datoo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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