A RECORD number of people spent more than half a day waiting for a ward bed to free up last month.

There are warnings the NHS in England is now facing unsustainable pressures with record 999 calls and long waits in A&Es.

Across Essex, 68,518 people visited A&Es in the area in October – the highest monthly total since monthly records began in June 2015.

Of those that did, the proportion who waited less than four hours from arrival to admission, discharge, or transfer stood at 78.7 per cent at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Trust.

There were also long waits for a ward bed for those who were admitted with 227 people having to spend more than 12 hours before getting a bed – the highest number on record.

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The East of England Ambulance Service answered 101,377 calls to 999 in October – a record high number – with teams responding to 8,487 life threatening call-outs last month.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “The NHS is now facing unsustainable pressures and running so hot it has reached a tipping point.

Neill Moloney is acting chief executive of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Colchester and Ipswich hospitals.


Neill Moloney

Neill Moloney


He said: “Achieving all the national access standards, including seeing and admitting or discharging 95 per cent of all patients attending our A&E departments within four hours, is very important to us.

“The number of people we are treating in our hospitals, including those with Covid-19, has been increasing and we are seeing more acutely ill patients too. This has a huge impact on our A&E departments, but our teams are working incredibly hard to see and treat people attending our hospitals as quickly and as safely as they can.

“If anyone is seriously unwell and needs urgent or emergency care, they must of course come to hospital, but the best way our communities can support the NHS this winter is to use services appropriately.

“If it’s not a medical emergency, call NHS 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk first.”