The Nuffield Trust, a health charity, has found that nearly twice as many patients arriving in ambulances were turned away from hospitals and sent elsewhere this year compared with the same period over the last three years according to NHS England data.
Ambulances were redirected 478 times over the three-month period from December to February, compared with an average of 249 times in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16. The NHS refers to such incidents caused by a lack of physical or staff capacity as “diverts” and says they should be a last resort. Paramedics have warned that this has had the knock-on effect of slowing their ability to get to the sick and injured quickly.
Ambulance crews have failed to hit any of their response time targets since May 2015, with latest figures showing that a third of the most critically ill patients wait longer than eight minutes for a 999 response. The Nuffield Trust said this had a direct effect on paramedics’ ability to respond to emergencies – with none of the three main response targets having been hit since May 2015. Prof John Appleby, Nuffield Trust chief economist and lead author of the report, said that tackling the issue should now been an “urgent priority”.
Elizabeth McCumisky, Solicitor from Medical Accident Group said “Patients who need the assistance of a blue light ambulance are already extremely unwell and every second counts when it comes to getting the urgent care that they require. Any delay in either receiving first line treatment from the paramedics or in reaching hospital can endanger the life of the patient, and all appropriate steps need to be taken to ensure that delay in receiving such treatment is avoided”.
As an experienced clinical negligence firm, we have managed to secure an award of compensation for many clients who have experienced delays in receiving medical treatment, which has negatively impacted on their health outcome. If you have suffered from poor treatment, Medical Accident Group can help. We have a team of dedicated clinical negligence solicitors, with over 30 years’ experience, who will guide you through the process of making a claim. If you believe you have a claim, call the team now on 0800 050 1668.