NHS to combat A&E delay with care provision

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.

Monday, 5th December 2016, 11:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 4:14 pm
The amount of time ambulances spend in between patient cases has more than doubled in two years.

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.”