Weighty backing for our A&E campaign from the Royal College of Nurses

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As support for our Citizen campaign gathers momentum, the need for a new A&E was sadly highlighted this week.

Newly released statistics show waiting times at the city’s current overburdened A&E rose during the winter rush.

Just 77 per cent of patients were seen within four hours, the minimum time recommended in government targets.

The Royal College of Nursing says this was “dangerous and unacceptable.”

A spokesman said: “We have already seen an A&E in Brighton forced to temporarily close due to pressure and several appear to be teetering on the edge.”

This week A&E staff were still rushed off their feet but managing to see an impressive 99 per cent of patients within four hours. Meanwhile the Royal College of Nursing has applauded our campaign for a new A&E and given its official backing. “This is great!,” said a spokesman. “We’d love to be involved.”

RCN regional head, Patricia Marquis, told the Citizen: “A&E departments across the country seem to be at crisis point and unfortunately Milton Keynes is no exception.

“The waiting times are of great concern to us but this is of no real surprise – the hospital was built to see an estimated 17,000 A&E patients per year, it actually sees 75,000.”

The RCN is concerned that due to geography there is nowhere to divert ambulances when A&E is full. “Nurses on the frontline are trying their best but this is a systemic problem they cannot control,” said Ms Marquis.

When A&E becomes full, the department is reliant on other wards to free up beds – putting more pressure on staff and patients.

Ms Marquis said the introduction of the new 111 service has also added to the pressure, but is not the sole culprit.

“There isn’t one single issue that has caused this problem, nor is there one solution, but it is clear that something has to be done to ensure that patient safety and dignity,” she said.

BRIAN WHITE

The man due to become the new Mayor of Milton Keynes next month has vowed to do anything he can to help our A&E campaign.

Stalwart Labour councillor and former city MP Brian White will become Mayor on May 15.

“This is a developing city that has simply outgrown its A &E. The Citizen campaign is vital,” he said.