Thou­sands left wait­ing in am­bu­lances

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Heartbreaking Statement -

The num­ber of pa­tients left wait­ing more than an hour in am­bu­lances out­side A&E de­part­ments has quadru­pled in the last two years.

Bed-block­ers in hos­pi­tals have been largely blamed for the rise, which in the fi­nan­cial year 2016/17 saw al­most 12,000 peo­ple en­dur­ing long waits out­side emer­gency cen­tres across the south east. The fig­ure was al­most 9,000 lower in 2014/15.

A&E con­sul­tant Adrian Boyle said: “There are lots and lots of peo­ple wait­ing in hos­pi­tal who could be looked after ei­ther in their own home or in a res­i­den­tial care fa­cil­ity.

“That means the hos­pi­tal’s full, the emer­gency depart­ment’s full and we can’t off­load am­bu­lances.”

The South East Coast Am­bu­lance Ser­vice NHS Foun­da­tion Trust has re­sponded to the fig­ures, which were ob­tained by the Labour Party.

A spokesman said: “Han­dover de­lays at hos­pi­tal con­tinue to be a sig­nif­i­cant is­sue, which se­verely im­pact on our abil­ity to re­spond to pa­tients in the com­mu­nity.

“We will con­tinue to work closely with our staff, all hos­pi­tals and other NHS part­ners to re­duce de­lays.”

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