THERE IS AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF PATIENTS WHO WAIT LONG HOURS IN AMBULANCES BEFORE BEING ATTENDED TO

  • Labour obtained figures through Freedom Of Information (FOI) requests which show that the NHS has been "pushed to the brink".

    Reports by The Guardian shows details from the FOI requests which found that:

    • The number of patients waiting an hour or more to be transferred from an ambulance into an NHS A&E ward has doubled in England over the past two years
    • There were 111,524 people who waited at least 60 minutes in an ambulance in 2016-17, up from 51,115 in 2014-15
    • South Western ambulance service was the only one of the 10 English ambulance trusts to record a decline in waits of an hour or more between 2014-15 and 2016-17
    • There was also an increase by - three-quarters, to 509,062 in patients waiting 30 minutes or longer for admission to an emergency ward
    • Every trust recorded a rise from 2014-15, except West Midlands ambulance service, which did not provide the relevant statistics on half-hour wait
    • Secamb showed the biggest increase for patients waiting an hour or more
    • The next biggest rises were recorded by Yorkshire ambulance service and the North West ambulance service

    According to the shadow health secretary, Jon Ashworth:

    "These figures show an ambulance service pushed to the brink by years of Tory underinvestment. It's clear that NHS services last year were operating at the absolute limit of what they could with.

    "There is no excuse for the government to allow another crisis on this scale to develop this year. They've been well warned and they should take action to sort it out."

    Ashworth also said:

    "Theresa May has a choice in the budget: give the NHS the money it needs to deliver a decent standard of care or leave NHS patients stranded in pain in the back of ambulances because the hospitals are just too full to cope."

    Earlier this year, NHS Improvement (NHSI) said:

    "Tolerating ambulance handover delays is tolerating significant risk of harm to patients."

    What do you think?

    Please tweet comments @suppsolutions.

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