A large ambulance trust has called for military assistance under “extreme” pressure and warnings of patient harm due to delays.
The South Coast Ambulance Service Trust said Thursday it was at “REAP four” – officially known as the “black alert” – and requested military assistance.
Board papers show the foundation has asked for support which has yet to be given the go-ahead, which would mean 10 additional ambulances every day.
Several ambulances received military assistance in England over the summer and military services were deployed to the Welsh Ambulance Service last month.
Earlier this month The independent one found that 160,000 patients were harmed from waiting for long-term ambulances outside the emergency room.
Emergency services have been reporting extreme stress for months, with some having been on “black alert” since the beginning of summer. The chief of the Care Quality Commission, Ted Baker, previously said The independent one he had “very real” concerns about the risk to patient safety of delays in the ambulance.
On October 30 and November 1, the South Central Ambulance Service Trust declared a “critical incident” due to “extreme” pressure on its services and reported that it was having difficulty responding to calls.
The trust said Thursday it remains under “significant operating pressure” and remains at REAP four “in line with the vast majority of other ambulance trusts”.
The Trust announced in October that it had lost 3,910 ambulance hours due to delays in handing over patients to A&E at the Portsmouth University Hospitals Trust.
During a board meeting on Thursday, NHS England warned that demand for 111 services, with more than 2 million calls in October, was also very high – a 44 percent increase from 2019-20.
It added, “Emergency services have been under significant pressure, answering over a million 999 calls in October 2021 … resulting in longer delays in answering calls.”
“We have also seen an increasing number of ambulances with delays outside of the A&E departments. Our focus in restoration is on reducing avoidable damage through all parts of the escape route. “