Star Opinion: Red Cross is here to help

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Usually seen in parts of the world that are suffering a natural disaster or civil war the Red Cross have been called in to help tackle the demand on Sheffield’s casualty services.

Casualty waiting times, ambulance response times and patient handover delays are all currently at unacceptable levels and the charity is helping out.

* Read more: Exclusive - Red Cross called in to help deal with Sheffield’s ‘unprecedented’ A&E demand

It is obviously a worrying situation but also heartening that such an organisation as the Red Cross is available to lend a hand.

The time of year is usually a busy one for the Accident and Emergency department at the Northern General Hospital but it is particularly hectic at the moment.

Whether this is through an ageing population, an influx of new people to the area or a desire to make-me-better-now by a society obsessed by instant gratification, who knows?

What is certain, though, is that the city has some excellent – world-leading in some instances – staff, from consultants to nurses. They will all be doing their best to ensure everyone is treated and looked after. These are tough times for the NHS, particularly when budgets are under scrutiny.

It is nice that the Red Cross are helping, but in an economy as rich as ours should we really need them?