NHS to combat A&E delay with care provision

The amount of time ambulances spend in between patient cases has more than doubled in two years.
The amount of time ambulances spend in between patient cases has more than doubled in two years.

The NHS Trust has said they are working closely with local social care provision to try and combat skyrocketing waiting times for A&E ambulance crews between cases.

The time ambulances spend at A&E in between calls in the north west has risen by 62% in the past two years, leading many to criticise the NHS’ system.

In 2015/16, ambulance workers spent 46,160 hours over the 15-minute allotted handover time, eclipsing the 2013/14 figure of 17,413 hours.

Dr Damian Riley, Executive Medical Director at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We continually monitor this situation and are working closely with partners in community and social care to safely discharge patients, providing beds for those in A&E who need to be admitted.

“At times of unexpected peak demand, there may be a large number of 999 ambulances arriving in quick succession and this can lead to a delay in handover patients,” continued Dr. Riley.

“Patient safety has to be our first priority; a member of the ambulance crew will stay with a patient who has not been ‘handed over’.

“When an ambulance arrives at A&E, we always make sure the patient is brought into the department without delay,” Dr Riley added. “Patients are prioritised on the basis of clinical need.”

Emergency services currently reach 68.3% of life-threatening 999 calls within the target eight-minutes, and with authorities aiming to increase that figure to 75% , Dr Riley said: “It’s important to minimise delays in A&E. We work hard to maintain patient flow through the department, the wards, and back to the community.”