Blackpool Victoria Hospital is the worst in the country for hitting its four hour waiting time for A&E patients according to new figures which paint a picture of the NHS in winter crisis. No other trust was below 57 per cent.
On the last weekend of 2017, trust senior consultant Richard Fawcett described the conditions at A&E as "Third World" conditions, reporting to have turned up for work to find a 12-hour wait to be seen in A&E with more than 25 patients "on the corridor". Only Bristol left more people waiting for half a day than the resort's 75.
This compares to 92.5 per cent in the comparable week the previous year. The total number of patients seen in December, including walk-in centres - was up by 983 to 17,078 last month.
Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of respondents (65%) said the Government was managing the current pressures on the NHS badly, 38 Degrees said.
This impacts on patient flow through the hospital and results in patients waiting longer in A&E.
The letter states that the NHS has, "insufficient hospital and community beds and staff of all disciplines especially at the front door to cope with our ageing population's health needs".
"In particular, it was an extremely challenging and demanding New Year weekend, with huge pressure in our A&E department and on our bed capacity".
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"Despite these challenges patient care has not been compromised and we have clinical oversight of all patients in A&E at all times".
"It is crucial that patients with complex care needs and flu receive the right care, not simply the fastest".
"We'd like to thank the public for their patience during this hard time and to our staff who have been going above and beyond coping in extreme circumstances".
"Extra medical and nursing staff were employed in all key areas and extra bed space was opened at Blackpool Victoria Hospital".
"I've heard an overwhelming number of reports from clinicians about how flu and respiratory illness, combined with other winter pressures and exceptional and sustained levels of demand, is changing the way they are treating patients arriving at A&E".
It continues: "The NHS is severely and chronically underfunded".
She said: "People are waiting too long in A&E departments because there are no beds for them on wards, and because many of those hospital beds are taken up by patients who are waiting for their social care arrangements".
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'Some of our own personal experiences range from over 120 patients a day managed in corridors, some dying prematurely'.
Mrs May said flu was putting extra pressure on services and encouraged people to act on the advice the NHS is giving.
"What staff, patients and families need is a long term plan to fix the mess she has made of our NHS".
"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".
A spokesman added: "It further demonstrates why it has been necessary to cancel patients' non-urgent procedures until the end of January".
"But over the course of the rest of the year it also means the ongoing eroding of standards, care and services".
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