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NHS Crisis: rise in ambulance delays at A&Es in England
©Graham Richardson CC BY 2.0

NHS Crisis: rise in ambulance delays at A&Es in England

04/01/18Government

Figures from NHS England have revealed a substantial rise in patients facing delays when arriving at A&E in ambulances across the country.

The final week of 2017 saw a total of 16,900 waits that were over 30 minutes long, which is up by more than 40% on the week previous.

Delays are caused by paramedics not having A&E staff to hand patients over to, therefore paramedics end up staying with patients to protect them. One in four of the delays were over an hour.

Saffron Cordery of NHS Providers said: “Despite planning more meticulously than ever before, the level of demand for services means severe pressures remain.”

This week alone, at least 20 hospital trusts have declared major incidents and it has led to the delay of thousands of non-urgent routine operations until the end of January.

Data released by NHS England has showed that a record number of 480,000 calls were made to the NHS 111 helpline. A 21% rise on the previous week.

Yesterday, UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt apologised after the surgery delays were announced, saying “there are real pressures” for the NHS currently.

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