A CONSULTANT at Solihull Hospital was among those who warned Theresa May patients were dying in hospital corridors because the NHS was so short-staffed and under-funded.
Tom Blyth, who specialises in children’s and adolescent services at the Lode Lane hospital, was among some 60 doctors who signed the letter telling the Prime Minister about ‘serious concerns for patient safety’.
The letter was signed by consultants representing the hospitals they work at.
The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Solihull, Heartlands and Good Hope Hospitals, reached nearly 95 per cent bed occupancy rates and consistently exceeded 90 per cent from December 28 to 31.
The Trust also struggled with 25 ambulance delays that exceeded one hour and 153 delays that were between half an hour and an hour.
The letter from consultants to Mrs May read: “We feel compelled to speak out in support of our hardworking and dedicated nursing, medical and allied head professional colleagues and for the very serious concerns we have for the safety of our patients.
“This current level of safety compromise is at times intolerable, despite the best efforts of staff.”
Doctors urged the Prime Minister to ‘significantly’ increase social care funding so patients could be discharged to be cared for in the community.
They also want more beds made available and an increase in the number of doctors and nurses.
The letter continued: “We would like to apologise to our patients for being unable to fulfil our pledge for a safe and efficient service and acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the staff.”
But a spokeswoman from the Department of Health and Social Care said improvements had been made.
She said: “There has been a 68.7 per cent increase in the number of A&E consultants since 2010, and the NHS was given top priority in the recent budget with an extra £2.8billion allocated over the next two years.
“But we know there is a great deal of pressure in A&E departments, and we are grateful to all NHS staff for their incredible work in challenging circumstances. That’s why we recently announced the largest single increase in doctor training places in the history of the NHS – a 25 per cent expansion.”