Top doctor slams A&E patients who act like consumers

A leading consultant says patients can no longer expect to be seen within four hours at A&E and should just ‘deal with’ NHS failures.

Professor David Oliver, clinical vice president of the Royal College of Physicians, says patients have ‘consumerist’ expectations of the health service.

The consultant said hospitals simply could not provide the care they used to and officials should be more honest.

It came, he said, as A&E units in England dealt with ‘a record number of attendances’ last Monday due to the cold weather.

Speaking at the Future of Ageing conference in London, Professor Oliver said patients should be given honest information, adding: ‘You will be on a trolley in A&E for more than four hours, quite likely, you will have to leave hospital when you don’t feel ready to go because someone else’s mum or dad needs to come into the bed you have vacated.

It came as A&E units in England dealt with ‘a record number of attendances’ last Monday due to the cold weather, Professor David Oliver said (stock photo)

It came as A&E units in England dealt with ‘a record number of attendances’ last Monday due to the cold weather, Professor David Oliver said (stock photo)

‘You won’t be able to stay on the intensive care unit as long as you would like to and staff will be rushed off their feet and you will have to sometimes wait for an operation.’

Professor Oliver, a consultant in geriatrics and general internal medicine at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, added: ‘Just like we have a mismatch between the cost of the activity and the funding, we have got a growing mismatch between increasingly consumerist public expectations and what the service can realistically offer.

'There are certain things we can no longer do, we can’t do them as quickly as we did before, and you’re going to have to deal with that or you will have to pay more through general taxation.’

It comes after it was revealed yesterday that NHS England officials had drafted plans requiring

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