The British Red Cross has warned that there is a “humanitarian crisis” in NHS hospitals in England.
The Red Cross said it had been helping patients get home from hospital, and has called on the UK government to put more money into the system. Since the government’s austerity policies, the NHS has suffered cut after cut.
Last month, a third of hospital trusts in England said they needed action to cope with patient numbers.
NHS England has said that beds were not as full as this time last year, and plans were in place to cope with demand.
However, last week 42 ambulances had to be redirected to other hospitals as A&E departments were too full. This was a 100% increase on last year.
Reports also surfaced of two people dying while waiting for beds in Worcestershire Royal Hospital’s A&E department.
The British Red Cross sent in staff and volunteers to support staff at the East Midlands Ambulance Service in Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln, Kettering, and Northampton.
It also helped people at home to relieve pressure on hospitals.
Mike Adamson, chief executive, said, “The British Red Cross is on the front line, responding to the humanitarian crisis in our hospital and ambulance services across the country.
“We have been called in to support the NHS and help get people home from hospital and free up much-needed beds.
“We’ve seen people sent home without clothes, some suffer falls and are not found for days, while others are not washed because there is no carer there to help them.”
John Ashworth, sShadow health secretary, said, “The Red Cross being called in to help in our hospitals is just the latest staggering example of how the NHS is now being pushed to breaking point.
“For the Red Cross to brand the situation a ‘humanitarian crisis’ should be a badge of shame for government ministers.”
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine said staff were under immense pressure.