Ambulance crews waiting for up to 26 HOURS outside crowded A&Es unable to hand over patients


Ambulance crews waiting for up to 26 HOURS outside crowded A&Es unable to hand over patients to hospital staff in ‘worst June ever’, as poll reveals emergency service is in a ‘critical condition’

  • Delays are huge in some parts of the country under increasing pressures
  • The worst last month was for 26 hours in the West Midlands service area
  • One paramedic warned workers were ‘psychologically struggling’ amid delays

The ambulance service is suffering huge delays amid problems as workers warn they are suffering ‘serious pressures’.

One crew were held outside A&E for 26 hours as the waits hit boiling point.

And another on the same day suffered an eight-hour delay during the June crises.

One paramedic said staff were ‘not coping’ and warned many were ‘psychologically struggling’.

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s Kevin Fairfax, who is also a Unison branch secretary, said the delays were bad.

He added: ‘We haven’t even got to anything like the winter pressures. My members are not coping – they are psychologically struggling.

‘We’ve had elderly patients sitting on the floor for hours, unable to get up due to a fractured hip or thigh. They’re sitting in their own urine.

‘It’s degrading for them and when the crews do turn up they are in tears.

Delays are huge in some parts of the country under increasing pressures due to high demand

One paramedic warned workers were 'psychologically struggling' amid delays in services

One paramedic warned workers were ‘psychologically struggling’ amid delays in services

‘We had a young lad who broke his leg playing football then sat on a field for hours waiting for us.

‘We join the NHS for the patients, not the money, and we are there to help but you can do nothing about waiting times. Seeing patients deteriorate is awful. It must be costing lives,’ he told the Mirror.

A poll carried out by the newspaper showed last month a West Midlands crew was held for 26 hours in boiling heat on June 6.

Meanwhile in London on the same day a crew had an eight-hour, 23-minute wait.

Up in the North West one ambulance had a 9hrs, 16mins handover at one point.

And in Yorkshire on June 7 at Hull Royal Infirmary, a crew had to stay for 9hrs, 36mins.

The problem is a 'vicious cycle' because A&E's a sometimes too full to take waiting patients in

The problem is a ‘vicious cycle’ because A&E’s a sometimes too full to take waiting patients in

One worker described the month as the ‘worst June ever’.

He said crews were spending hours in the backs of ambulances or next to their patients in hospitals, unable to leave until they had officially handed over their charges to clinical staff.

Unison officer Ray Gray said: ‘It’s a vicious circle because the ambulance crew can’t offload into A&E because it is full of patients.

‘And A&E is full because there are no beds in the hospital because the wards are full and they can’t discharge people into the community because the support services are not there.’

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said handover times were extended because of pressures across the healthcare system.

London Ambulance Service said: ‘We are continuing to work closely with hospitals and NHS partners across London to help reduce delays and pressures wherever possible.’

And West Midlands Ambulance Service and the Welsh Ambulance Service said they working hard to reduce delays.

The Department of Health told the Mirror: ‘Res­­ponse times are affected by various factors. That’s why we’re taking a whole-system approach, and the NHS has allocated £150million of system funding to address pressure.

‘We have provided £50m of additional funding in 2022/23 to support increased NHS 111 call-taking cap­­acity, and we are busting the Covid backlogs by setting up surgical hubs and community diagnostic centres.’

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