About 300,000 ambulances were left queuing outside hospitals last year, with patients waiting up to eight hours, or even longer, to be transferred into A&E, according to research by the Labour Party.
Freedom of Information requests to English Ambulance Trusts produced figures showing that the number of patients waiting in the back of ambulances to be transferred into A&Es virtually doubled in three years – up from 99,661 in 2010/11 to 193,088 in 2012/13
There was also a doubling in the number of patients who waited longer than one hour to be transferred from an ambulance into A&E – increasing from 14,580 in 2010/11 to 29,601 in 2012/13
South Central Ambulance Trust had a seven-fold increase in the number of patients who waited longer than two hours.
The longest recorded delay was more than eight hours, despite the 15-minute nationally agreed standard, while 279,207 ambulances were delayed for more than half an hour and a further 30,601 reported waits lasting over an hour.
Figures from the West Midlands revealed the longest single wait at eight hours, eleven minutes. In the south west of England, one patient was in a queue for seven hours 32 minutes, in London the longest delay was six hours, ten minutes.
Jamie Reed MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, said: ‘Patients and hospitals are paying the price for David Cameron’s mismanagement of the NHS, and decision to proceed with a top-down reorganisation of the NHS that he promised wouldn’t happen.
‘The unfolding crisis in A&E is a clear and visible symptom of a system under pressure and there is no more visible sign than ambulances queuing up outside A&E. The government has tried to blame everybody else for this chaos. The NHS needs leadership but instead it has David Cameron who is taking it backwards.’
Dr Cliff Mann, of the College of Emergency Medicine, said: ‘It is our view that emergency departments should have sufficient capacity to meet demand, and that means ambulances should be able to transfer patients into departments immediately on arrival.
‘It has been clear that this has been difficult to achieve at times. This problem is symptomatic of the pressures emergency departments are facing.’
A Unison spokeswoman told News Line yesterday: ‘This is totally unacceptable and is a perennial problem that the government needs to get a grip of. While ambulances are outside A&E other emergencies are being left uncovered.
‘The problem starts in A&E where there they do not have the capacity to deal with the number of patients. It’s clear more money needs to go into A&E and into tackling the beds crisis in hospitals.
‘The increased number of ambulances outside A&E is a result of closures of A&E departments without proper consideration as to where these patients are going to go.’
Help us to SAVE our beloved Charing Cross Hospital from DEMOLITION, please SIGN and SHARE this petition, it will take just a few seconds... ...
April 2017 Dear Supporter, Who is telling the truth? For nearly 5 years Save Our Hospitals has been campaigning, with local resid...
Newspapers are archived here
Crisis-hit A&E department tells 999 ambulance crews: Ring first to see if we've got space or we won't let you in-London Ambulance Service made warning over struggling emergency unit -Paramedics now can't take patients directly to Northwick Park ...
Secret plans to cut almost 8,000 NHS jobs in NW London in the next 5 years are exposed in Save Our Hospitals' latest press release. T...
Support SW London SW London Keep Our NHS Public Group have invite SOH to have a stall at their public meeting "How can we save the NHS?...
We're going to defend our Hospitals -Labour Leader Stephen Cowan https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=7SKMlhhSDHc We call on a morato...
The proportion of ambulances failing to arrive within eight minutes has increased by up to a fifth cent in west London Ambulance wai...
On Thursday night Imperial Healthcare Trust, which runs Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary’s Hospitals, published details of th...
British Medical Association's 2017 Message Dr Mark Porter leader of the BMA gave a grim New Year message to the NHS saying Sustaina...