The RCN has warned that the increased pressure on NHS hospitals this summer is likely to have a knock-on effect on how quickly patients can receive care this winter, despite advance planning.
The comments come as the RCN releases a new report showing trolley waits in the NHS in England during the summer have more than doubled in five years. The increased strain on the service, coupled with increasing numbers of nurse vacancies, mean the Health Secretary’s recently announced ambition for 900 extra beds this winter is unlikely to be met.
This year England experienced record-breaking temperatures in June and July and RCN members reported increased numbers of patients attending A&E departments and GP surgeries with heat-related problems.
Many common long-term conditions such as diabetes and heart, respiratory and renal problems are exacerbated by high temperatures, with older and socially isolated people most at risk.
Read more of this article on the RCN website.