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Ambulance handover delays harm risk 'extremely worrying'

27 Oct 2021

Responding to today’s decision by the board of the West Midlands Ambulance Service to raise the likelihood of serious patient harm from hospital handover delays to its highest level, Lindsay Meeks, Director of the Royal College in the West Midlands, said:

“This is unprecedented and an extremely worrying declaration that patients are being harmed due to handover delays at A&E departments and ambulance crews consequently being unable to respond to emergency calls.
“When an ambulance service calculates the risk of patient harm to be almost certain and potentially catastrophic, despite the best efforts of their crews and Emergency department colleagues to keep patients safe, the Government must get a grip and take decisive action, instead of continuing to insult the intelligence of NHS staff and patients by saying the pressures on the NHS are sustainable.
“No patient would regard a 13-hour wait in the back of an ambulance outside a hospital as acceptable or a sign that pressures are anything like sustainable, and no ambulance trust would regard a loss of capacity equivalent to 1,300 12-hour shifts in a single month due to handover delays as being safe.”

Page last updated - 28/03/2022