Hartlepool hospital patients face disruption as operations 'cancelled for next two weeks'

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In the previous week hospitals had reported bed occupancy levels of 90.9 per cent - above the recommended safe limit of 85 per cent.

Dr Stuart Findlay, co-chairman of the North East and Cumbria Urgent and Emergency Care Network - which represents all NHS organisations - said: "Each hospital is different so they can choose how they do this and our region's hospital trusts will try to minimise disruption to those patients with non urgent planned operations when making their decisions".

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Scarborough and Bridlington Hospital, has said cases for cancelling operations are being reviewed on an individual basis.

The 10 most prolific callers in the United Kingdom used the emergency services more than 10,000 times between November 2016 and October 2017, revealed Freedom of Information data obtained by The Sun.

In north Cumbria, 239 beds had been blocked for seven days or more while 70 had been blocked for more than 21 days.

After 16 hospital trusts said they were on the highest alert, doctors say the conditions in A&E are the worst they have seen and patients are being treated in corridors due to a bed shortage.

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"The perennial pressures on our Emergency Departments is not the fault of the patient or staff".

The NHS England statistics laid bare the pressures experienced by the health service between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, including unprecedented demand on its 111 hotline.

But he said: "That doesn't mean there isn't huge pressure". It's always a fine balancing act deciding to put out messages like this because, while it's absolutely correct, we don't want people who need to be here for a true emergency to not attend.

The NHS has reached breaking point, with up to 55,000 non-urgent operations cancelled as doctors attempt to treat patients.

Today Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron called for a cross party solution to problems within the NHS.

But staff shortages and a spike in patient numbers caused chaos outside hospitals across Britain.

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"But there can be no escaping the fact that the NHS is over-stretched and under-funded". All the criticism of the NHS must inevitably affect their sense of worth and ability to see a future in their organisation.

This was the worst example of frequent callers which cost the overstretched NHS almost £20 million a year.

When asked if he would apologise to patients, he said: "Of course".

Beyond this point, mortality rates increase and infections such as influenza, norovirus and C-Diff can spread more quickly.

The choice appears to be between a fundamental change to the way the NHS works, decreasing the range of services provided or having at least some people pay for the cost of their care at the point of use - or a marked increase in funding which will ultimately have to be paid by the taxpayer. We are simply not coping, we were at full capacity before the sorts of pressures that we should be able to manage - like a rise in flu - is pushing us over the edge.

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