Saturday, December 17, 2022

The region’s hospitals are among the worst for ambulance turnaround times

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The Trust covers 20 per cent of England, from Swindon to the Isles of Scilly.

Over the past month – November 2022 – more than 80,000 incidents have been processed.

Staff say a big part of the problem is the time it takes for a patient to be transferred to the emergency room by ambulance, and the problem is only getting worse.

Around one in seven ambulance patients in England is still waiting more than an hour to be handed over to hospital emergency teams.

Trust staff say the system is clogged because people are not being discharged from hospital.

Assistant Clinical Director Adrian South said: “It’s a whole systems issue. So the real challenge is being able to recruit in social care.

“Across the South West there are currently patients in our hospitals who could be discharged into the community but are unable to due to the really big challenges.

“Health and social services are working very hard to address these challenges. However, this currently means that patients cannot leave the hospital to return to their own homes or to the community.

“Because these patients cannot leave the wards in the hospitals, the wards cannot admit patients from the emergency room.

“The emergency room, on the other hand, sometimes cannot admit patients from our outpatient clinics as quickly as we would like.”

Latest Page News has reported several stories from affected people so far this year, such as: 79-year-old Cornish woman who has been waiting in the back of an ambulance for more than 20 hours with a broken hip out of hospital in August.

There have been incidents in recent months where dozens or more ambulances have queued for several hours outside the emergency department at Truro’s Royal Cornwall Hospital.

In October it was revealed that at one point more than 30 ambulances were piled up in Treliske, waiting to discharge their patients to the hospital.

In its Autumn statement, the Government announced £4.7bn for 2024-25 for England’s adult social care scheme – including £1bn to support discharges directly from hospitals to the community.

Ambulance workers across England and Wales will go on strike on December 21 in the wage dispute. Clinically trained managers will move to the front lines to try and fill gaps.

Meanwhile, staff are reminding people to call 999 only if it’s a life-threatening emergency.

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