Thursday, 13 November 2014

Patients forced to wait in ambulances to be seen at A&E

Patients forced to wait in ambulances to be seen at A&E

More than 1,400 patients have had to wait in an ambulance outside A&E before being handed over to hospital staff.
Figures revealed under a Freedom of Information request of the London Ambulance Service by the Harrow Times show large numbers of patients in ambulances having to wait to be seen.
From September 2013 to September 2014 there were 1,437 cases when ambulance crews had to wait more than 30 minutes to hand over patients to Northwick Park Hospital A&E.
This year, September was the month with the most number of cases with ambulance crews having to wait 250 times, equivalent to more than eight ambulances having to wait a day.
This is compared to just 50 for the month of August.
There were also peaks around the winter period which is traditionally a busier time for A&E with 200 cases in February and 108 in March this year.
Chris Pocklington, chief operating officer for London North West Health Care Trust, said: "In order for our hospital staff to safely treat patients who arrive at A&E by ambulance, a handover of the patients’ care must take place between the ambulance crew and A&E staff.
"If there is not capacity within the department when a patient arrives, this handover can be delayed.
"We are working with our healthcare partners in North West London to address specific issues relating to capacity and agreed actions are in place to help improve our performance.
"This includes plans for 70 additional beds at Northwick Park Hospital which will help to increase capacity within the A&E department. This number is in addition to the 20 new beds that we opened earlier this year."
In August this year the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, which later became London North West Health Care, was rated as requires improvement by the Care Quality Commission.
Northwick Park Hospital’s new £21million A&E department is due to come into operation in the coming months.
by Bruce Thain , Senior ReporterUpdated on  in News

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