Home news A&E ambulance delays 'wholly unacceptable'

A&E ambulance delays 'wholly unacceptable'


An ambulance boss has urged health chiefs to tackle “wholly unacceptable” delays at emergency departments.Up to 57 crews waited more than an hour to hand over patients at one hospital over two days, Mark Docherty of West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said.In a letter, he said the situation in some places was “reaching a crisis point”.Worcestershire Royal Hospital’s trust said it had invested heavily to deal with winter pressures.Mr Docherty, director of clinical commissioning at WMAS, wrote to Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which leads for all the CCGs in the region.He detailed a number of delays on 10 and 11 November in his letter, with the longest being almost three hours.Patients were kept on stretchers or loaded back into ambulances and driven to another emergency department at Redditch, he said.Midlands Live: Husband convicted of wife’s axe murder; Body found in search for missing manThe situation compromised patient safety, raised significant concerns for the coming months and needed to be rapidly improved, he added.

“It created a significant risk for Worcestershire which is wholly unacceptable,” he wrote.In August, the Care Quality Commission said patients being cared for in the corridors of the hospital’s emergency departments was “standard practice”. The trust has been in special measures since 2015.Mr Docherty also raised concerns about the same weekend at Russell’s Hall Hospital in Dudley, writing: “Average turnaround had risen by a third; last year there were 8 over hour delays during the weekend period; this year there were 26.”He said the system was currently unsafe: “Patient dignity and safety is compromised for those waiting in corridors. “There is no improvement in the situation, and the situation in some hospitals is reaching a crisis point.”‘Treat patients faster’Last week, NHS England and NHS Improvement restated that acute trusts must accept a handover from an ambulance within 15 minutes.The commissioners have since written back offering to meet the hospital trust and other groups to discuss the deteriorating situation.The Worcestershire trust said it has invested £1m on expanding its ambulatory emergency care unit at Worcester. A county-wide service for elderly and frail patients has also been opened at Redditch hospital to avoid the need for them to be transferred to the emergency department.
Source: Worcester News