Up to 85% of ambulances spent at least 30 minutes stuck outside A&E units last week… so how badly was YOUR hospital hit? Use our interactive tool to find out
- Nearly 70,000 patients were whizzed to hospitals by 999 crews last week
- But more than 28,000 — or 40 per cent — faced delays of at least 30 minutes
- Do YOU think ambulance workers were right to strike? Vote here and tell us why
- Click HERE for MailOnline’s Q&A answering all your questions about the strike
Eight in ten NHS ambulances are forced to wait at least 30 minutes outside busy A&E units in parts of England, shocking data suggested today.
Nearly 70,000 patients were whizzed to hospitals by 999 crews last week.
But more than 28,000 — or 40 per cent — faced delays of at least 30 minutes before being passed to casualty teams.
The numbers, described as ‘monstrous’, are worse than at any point in recent winter crises.
MailOnline analysis shows, however, up to 85 per cent of ambulances faced the huge waits at the worst-hit hospitals in the South West.
NHS statistics laying bare the pressures buckling the ambulance service only go up until the week ending December 18.
Knock-on effects of yesterday’s strikes — the biggest since the 1980s — won’t be seen until next week.
Health chiefs last night warned of a calm before the storm after 999 calls plummeted in many areas during the chaos, sparking warnings of an immediate bounceback in calls.
Insiders have said that A&Es and wards face a ‘very challenging’ Christmas.
Nearly 70,000 patients were whizzed to hospitals by 999 crews last week. But more than 28,000 — or 40 per cent — faced delays of at least 30 minutes before being passed to casualty teams
Ambulance handovers are supposed to take place in 15 minutes.
Delays can occur due to A&E units being overwhelmed by a lot of ambulances at once, as well as a lack of beds.
Not all delays see patients stuck in the back of ambulances, some are left in hospital corridors.
It causes chaos because paramedic crews have to stay with patients, leaving queues of ambulances to pile up unable to attend calls.
This has a huge collateral effect on response times, with heart attack victims in parts of the country already facing hour-long waits for 999 crews to arrive.
Graphic shows the average response times for Category 1, 2, 3 and 4 calls to ambulance services across England (left), and, right, the average response time for each call (red) compared to the target response time (blue) across all services
Graphic showing the average time it takes for ambulance services across England to pick up 999 calls
Ambulances parked outside the West Midlands Ambulance Service headquarters in Coventry, during walkouts by paramedics, ambulance technicians and call handlers in England and Wales yesterday. NHS trusts fear a bounceback today after patients delayed treatment
MailOnline’s analysis covered data from today’s weekly situation report, an ongoing stream of data that tracks the state of the health service during its busiest period.
It excluded hospitals that logged fewer than 100 ambulance arrivals throughout the week.
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust saw 84.9 per cent of all 999 arrivals delayed by at least 30 minutes.
A gloomy NHS boss today urged people not to drink heavily this Christmas amid fears that the NHS could be overwhelmed because of 48 hours of strikes by nurses and ambulance staff this week.
Torbay and South Devon (82.6 per cent) and University Hospitals Plymouth (79.3 per cent) rounded out the top three.
For contrast, only 5.9 per cent of ambulances took as long outside The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals.
Campaigners told MailOnline the ‘unacceptable’ figures showed ambulance services are a ‘postcode lottery’.
Dennis Reed, director elderly charity Silver Voices, said: ‘It’s obviously a postcode lottery but it’s bad everywhere.
‘None of the Government targets are being met as far as I can see and we’ve been saying it for months — the waits are not acceptable.
‘Our members in Cornwall have raised this issue. There’s only one major hospital in the area and if you’ve got 30 ambulances waiting outside you’ve got a major problem.
‘Rural areas take longer for patients to get there anyway, so they need shorter waits outside hospitals — not worse ones.’
The NHS is braced for a surge in demand for emergency treatment after strikes by nurses and paramedics.
Thousands of ambulance staff in England and Wales walked out yesterday, following action by nurses on Tuesday, with the NHS braced for extra pressure as a knock-on effect of the industrial action.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay is considering fast-tracking an NHS pay rise next year in a bid to resolve the dispute but has so far ruled out any movement on current wages.
Mr Barclay said ‘my door is always open to talk to trade unions about concerns around working conditions’ but ‘we have an independent pay review body – which the unions campaigned to set up – and we will continue to defer to that process to ensure decisions balance the needs of staff and the wider economy’.
A 4×4 outside the Royal Sussex County Hospital yesterday as members of the public were forced to take loved ones to A&E themselves
Ambulance services hit more than half the UK yesterday
Saffron Cordery, interim chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents hospital and ambulance services in England, said the next few days will be a ‘challenging time’ due to pent-up demand for services after the strikes.
‘I think emergency departments, particularly, are going to feel the strain in those areas where there were strikes, which for ambulance services was in every part of the country apart from the east of England,’ she told Sky News.
‘So some real pressure there, pent-up demand, and also the added pressure of rearranging all of those operations and appointments that needed to be postponed.’
While the highest level of alerts for ambulance services have been stood down in some places, trusts have warned the public that the health service remains under huge pressure.
East of England Ambulance Service and North West Ambulance Service both stood down their critical incident status but added that the NHS ‘remains under extreme pressure’ and said 999 and 111 services ‘are still challenged’.
Ms Cordery said the extra demand will hit an NHS where there are already ‘fundamental levels of staff shortages’, with frontline workers ‘significantly overstretched’.
‘What we have got to see now is the Government come to the table and have a serious discussion and negotiation about pay because this dispute is about pay and it’s also about working conditions and keeping patients safe,’ she said.
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents most health organisations, said the service ‘coped as well as could be expected’ on Wednesday.
But he said the NHS could not ‘go on coping’ with a winter of strikes and industrial action.
In other related news…
Revealed, six-figure salaries of hard-Left union barons behind ambulance strikes: One is a former Communist, another was kicked out of Labour and a third says she’s ‘open to working at the edges of the law’
NHS will spend £100,000 on scheme that teaches staff how to be inclusive to pregnant transgender men… and it could see them encouraged to say things like ‘chest-feeding’
Up to 30 THOUSAND appointments and ops were cancelled due to NHS nursing strikes… so how badly was YOUR hospital hit?
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