Ambulance and Hospital Bed delays
NHS figures show that more than 1 in 10 patients face long delays for a hospital bed after admission.
In addition, patients in Portsmouth have waited up to 7 hours in ambulances queuing outside Queen Alexandra Hospital, and on one day in October 2016 more than half of the South Central Ambulance Service’s ambulances serving East Hampshire were waiting to hand over patients at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
The queuing ambulances result in delays in responding to 999 calls in the Portsmouth area and delays in accessing emergency treatment. The queues for hospital beds after admission mean that patients often wait on trolleys in corridors. NHS England figures show that the number of patients who waited over 4 hours for a hospital bed between October 2015 and September 2016 was 473,453, which is five times the number that it was just 5 years ago.
Sue Bowler, Partner and Head of the Clinical and Catastrophic Injury team at Coffin Mew solicitors says:
This is all really bad news for patients and shows that standards of healthcare are not improving. Everyone expects that if they suffer an urgent or potentially life-threatening or life-changing illness or injury, that they will be able to be urgently transported to hospital by ambulance following a 999 call, and that when they get to hospital timely and appropriate treatment will be provided. The reality of these figures show that is simply not the case for many people and the inevitable result will be avoidable long-term injury or even death, scenarios that we hear about often when we are consulted about potential cases of clinical negligence.