Revealed: Mental health patient waits day and a half for bed in St George’s Hospital

A mental health patient waited more than 36 hours for a bed at St George’s Hospital, an FOI from Tooting MP Rosena Allin-Khan revealed today.

The patient was referred for mental health treatment, but a bed was unavailable at the time.

The data was revealed by the Labour MP’s request into A&E waiting times of more than 12 hours before finding a bed between June 2015-June 2016.

Dr Allin-Khan said: “This story isn’t unique, it is happening up and down the country.”

The former St George’s A&E doctor pointed to £10bn cuts to Wandsworth’s social care budget and 16% of rota gaps going unfilled across London.

“The government must give hospitals the funding they need – without significant investment the situation will only get worse,” she said.

A St George’s Hospital spokesperson said A&E waiting times had reduced significantly in recent months but patients often face longer waits.

“This is regrettable, but all patients continue to be kept under observation, and are given the specialist input and care they need,” the spokesperson said.

The 36hr 18min wait at St George’s Hospital in Tooting was the second-highest nationally – behind the maximum waiting time of 45hrs 50mins at King’s College Hospital Trust.

Nationally, the number of waits longer than 12 hours has exploded since 2011-12 — catapulting from 123 cases to 1,014 in 2015-2016.

Across Britain 380 patients spent more than 12 hours waiting for a bed between April and June 2016 — compared with 130 in the same period the previous year.

Earlier this month, a South West London Partnership draft report proposed a target reduction of 40% for A&E admissions across south west London.

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth MP said: “These FOIs expose the reality of what’s really going on in our NHS under the Tories.

“Hospital beds full, A&Es overflowing and patients waiting for longer than 12 hours on trolleys waiting to be given a bed on a ward. It’s just not good enough.”

Featured image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks

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