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7 December 2017, 09:41
In the midst of the festive season, an NHS doctor tells Sky News of the incredible pressures being faced by hospital staff in the UK.
Across the country, hospitals are struggling to cope with the "worst-ever" winter crisis faced by the NHS, and one doctor - who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of how his managers would react - has told Sky News things will only worsen:
Last weekend, I lost some of my patients. I appreciate that sounds odd. I work in a hospital, it has big computers and patients all have barcodes on them to check them in and out of wards.
How is it possible to lose patients? The answer is that the winter crisis has started and the hospital is full.
I look after medical patients: people with chest infections, urinary tract infections, old people with falls and dementia.
When the wards that are usually allocated for these patients fill up, we don't close the doors and stop admitting them. We start a process that is known as "outlying" - finding them beds on surgical wards, or in places that are normally used for outpatient procedures like endoscopy.
The knock-on effect is cancelled elective operations, but emergency patients, who come in through A&E;, are a priority.
Why has this happened in my hospital? Well, my managers tell me that it has nothing to do with the 30 medical beds we had to close to push through "efficiency" savings. I'm not so sure.
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When "outlying" has happened, someone is supposed to keep track. I get given a list of names and wards and am told to go and find them. There are 30 "outliers", who are simply added to the 200-odd other patients I am responsible for.
But the list is two days old. Fifteen of the patients on it have gone home or died - and there are new names to add.
It's exhausting and worrying. What if there is a sick person somewhere and I don't know about them?
Around seven hours into my shift I realised I hadn't eaten or drunk anything. I turned to a nursing colleague and asked where I could get some water on the ward.
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"You can't have any," is the response.
I laughed, assuming it was a joke, but my colleague explained that the hospital had made the decision that cups would no longer be provided for staff on the ward. I assumed this must be a misunderstanding, but nurses on other wards confirmed that cups had indeed been removed. More cost savings.
Inevitably, near the end of my 13 hours at work, I was called to see a man with a dangerously fast heart rate. He was an outlying patient on a surgical ward who was not on my list, and the junior staff - unfamiliar with medical patients - didn't know who to call.
Fortunately, my team got there in time to treat him. But I feel it is inevitable that this won't always be the case.
The winter crisis is here, it is the worst I have seen in the 10 years I have worked in the NHS and it will get worse still as the cold deepens.
On the way home, I popped into a coffee shop to buy something to eat for the first time all day. Noting my work badge, they refused to let me pay for anything.