»»NHS payouts soar to £6.5m for patients held up by 999 delays Due in 8mins.
»»Number of critically ill waiting over 60mins DOUBLES in one year
THE number of critically-ill patients waiting over an hour for ambulances has more than doubled in a year.
Paramedics took at least 60 minutes to reach 6,096 people requiring vital treatment for cardiac arrests, strokes and other conditions between April 2016 and March 2017, shock figures show.
All were 999 calls classified as the “red” highest priority, which should have been answered in eight minutes.
The total – equivalent to around 17 patients every day – is well over twice the 2,746 “red” patients who waited more than an hour in 2015/16.
The figures, described as “absolutely horrifying” by union officials, represent only six out of 10 of England’s trusts – so the true total will be even higher.
Experts, who warn such delays “clearly impact” on patients’ survival chances, blame them on a number of factors – including hospitals being so full that when ambulance crews arrive at A&E they cannot offload and respond to other calls.
Other reasons include despatchers assigning the “red” priority to far too many cases and burned-out crews quitting and not being replaced. Meanwhile a growing elderly population coupled with lack of investment and cuts to social care add to the crisis.
A Sunday Mirror probe found 42 medical negligence claims against ambulance trusts were settled last year for delays in reaching hospital. Figures obtained from the NHS Litigation Authority show £6.5million was paid out to settle such claims in 2016/17.
This compares to 2012/13, when £812,000 was paid out for 26 claims.
In cases exposed by our Freedom of Information request, paramedics working for North West Ambulance Service took 108 minutes to reach a 71-year-old woman in cardiac arrest, 89 minutes to get to a baby with life-threatening breathing problems and 150 minutes to respond to a 40-year-old woman who had taken an overdose.
At South Central Ambulance Service, a woman in her sixties whose life was in danger from sepsis waited 66 minutes and a man, also in his sixties, suffering a life-threatening complication of diabetes
Dad worked hard all his life but when he needed the NHS it failed him ALAN WILCE ON DEATH OF HIS FATHER JOHN, 86 We had a high level of requests... crews were waiting at hospitals AMBULANCE SERVICE ON PENSIONER WHO DIED
QUEUEING Ambulances often get ‘stuck’ at A&E
LET DOWN John, 86, lay waiting for hours