A doctor who received an OBE in the New Year’s Honours has called conditions in NHS hospitals worse than in countries where he carries out humanitarian work.

Paul Ransom, who works part-time with the NHS while also working overseas, described overflowing corridors and staff “at their wits’ end” inside hospitals in Sussex such as the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

Dr Ransom, who also worked in the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, thanked his colleagues but said that while he was “fortunate” to be honoured it also felt “wrong, somehow”.

The Argus: Royal Sussex County HospitalRoyal Sussex County Hospital (Image: NQ Staff)

In a letter to The Argus readers, Dr Ransom said: “Sometimes I feel guilty at seeing my NHS colleagues trying to keep patients safe and sometimes even keep them alive in conditions that are worse than those I see in many hospitals I work in abroad.

“In Ukraine, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and many other places I have worked, I very rarely see corridors overflowing with patients waiting for a cubicle, with nursing and medical staff at their wits’ end how to pick the most serious patients to bring in into a resuscitation room that is already doubling up on beds.

“No other country in Europe would expose patients to these conditions. Sometimes when I read my WhatsApps from Brighton when I am deployed overseas, it seems to me that we should be re-directing our humanitarian efforts to the corridors in UK hospitals such as our own in Sussex rather than in conflict countries abroad.”

Dr Ransom stressed that he did not wish to blame or shame current hospital management, believing that the government is at fault for the woes of the NHS.

He also offered suggestions to help support the NHS such as increased staffing, better pay for staff and the use of Nightingale hospitals such as those used at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

NHS Sussex previously declared a critical incident on Friday, December 30, due to high demand for A&E services as well as more people calling 111 and 999.

While essential services remained open, the critical incident allowed managers to alleviate pressure by cancelling or re-scheduling non-urgent operations, treatments and outpatient appointments.

This critical incident has now been stood down.

The Argus: Dr Paul Ransom OBEDr Paul Ransom OBE (Image: University Hospital Trust)

Dr Ransom was given an OBE on the overseas honours list for his work in health care in countries such as Armenia and Haiti.

His work involves responding to crises such as the Haitian earthquake in 2010 as well as teaching medical skills in war-torn Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.

Dr George Findlay, chief executive of University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our staff are doing a phenomenal job in really tough circumstances, and I wish to convey my immense gratitude for all they are doing to care for patients and each other at such a difficult time.

“We know the current A&E department in Brighton is not an ideal environment, which is why we are planning how to expand the space available following the opening of the new Louisa Martindale Building on the County site this year.”

Have you been affected by the NHS crisis in Sussex? If so, get in touch at Patrick.barlow@newsquest.co.uk.