More than half of England’s emergency care is being provided by the NHS, with the highest level of demand in London and north-west England, according to a new study.
More than 7,000 people a week are waiting for treatment, and the NHS is running out of beds to house them, according the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
It’s an issue which has prompted warnings that the government’s funding for the NHS could be at risk if the health service is not maintained in the long-term.
This is the first time that the RCGP has published its report on emergency care, which is designed to provide a snapshot of the state of emergency services in England and how they compare with the rest of the country.
The report highlights how the NHS has been hit by the Brexit vote, with many doctors now working outside the UK and hospitals struggling to keep up with the growing demand.
And it warns that the pressures to maintain the NHS are likely to increase as more and more people move out of the UK to live and work abroad.
The RCGP found that the number of acute admissions to hospitals in England have been rising in recent years and the number waiting in hospital for treatment has risen sharply.
In 2017, there were more than 1,000 acute admissions in England, up from about 400 the year before.
And the RCGP found that almost 70 per cent of people receiving treatment in England are receiving it in the NHS.
The number of people waiting for appointments has risen from a low of just 633 in 2016, to more than 705 this year.
The most common reason for hospital waiting times is a severe illness, including heart failure, cancer, or multiple sclerosis.
Theresa May’s government says the NHS will be able to cope with an influx of people from overseas and will increase funding for emergency care.
But the RCOGP warns that funding will be at a premium if the NHS becomes a burden on hospitals.
“It will not be sustainable in the short term to fund a growing number of NHS staff in isolation in London,” the report said.
“If we cannot increase the number and quality of hospital beds, the funding gap between the public and private sectors will only widen.”
There are also concerns about how much extra money will be needed to maintain hospitals in the event of an emergency, such as for emergency surgery.
The government is working with the NHS to establish a shared care model in England to reduce the need for separate care in hospitals.
But some doctors are not convinced.
“We have been told that there are more beds available in London but that is not true.
We have been asking to have more beds but they say that we will have to wait longer.
We are very worried,” said Dr James Waugh, from the Royal London Hospital.”
I have seen people come in with heart problems and heart failure and have been waiting in the waiting room for months.”
He added: “The situation in London is bad and we are really worried about the future of the NHS.”