COUNTY NEWS: Hospitals across country face ‘humanitarian crisis’, says Red Cross

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The Red Cross has warned of a ‘humanitarian crisis’ in hospitals across the country due to A&E overcrowding, days after Sussex hospitals reveal ‘extremely busy’ A&E departments.

People were being asked to ‘think twice’ before attending A&E at hospitals in Eastbourne, Hastings, Chichester and Worthing this week, due to increased demand.

Hospital chiefs urged people only to attend if they are ‘seriously unwell or critically injured.’

In a statement yesterday, the Red Cross called on the UK government to invest in health and social care to address the pressures on A&E departments across the country.

In some areas of the country, the Red Cross have been called in to support the NHS and help get people home from hospital by deploying a team of emergency volunteers, according to the statement.

The BMA has responded to the news to say that the government ‘should be ashamed’ that volunteers have had to be used to ‘ease the burden.’

Dr Mark Porter, BMA chair of council, said: “This intervention from the Red Cross highlights the enormous pressure the NHS is currently facing as conditions in hospitals across the country are reaching a dangerous level.

“The government should be ashamed that it has got the point where volunteers have been necessary to ease the burden.

“The devastating consequences of the lack of commitment to funding for health and social care have become all too apparent and patients are enduring one of the worst winters on record.

“Staff are working flat-out in extremely difficult conditions.

“The government must take responsibility for the patients whose care and safety is being put at risk and urgently get to grips with this crisis situation.”

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