The NHS’ target time to get a patient from an ambulance to hospital is 15 minutes. However this target is not being met and is having a detrimental effect on patients, according to Inez Brown of Medical Accident Group.
Recent reports have shown that patients are experiencing substantial delays in being admitted into hospital because the wards are too full. Instead, they are spending several hours waiting outside the hospital in the ambulance.
The new figures reveal that more than 70,000 patients have waited over an hour to be transferred to hospital. Meanwhile the West Midlands Ambulance Service has been found to have the longest waiting times in the country, with one patient having to wait in an ambulance for more than 9 hours.
Liberal Democrat health spokesman, and former Minister of State for Care and Support, Norman Lamb, commented that the delay in transferring patients is “completely unacceptable” and “unless the Government grasps this and does something about it then we are going to see patients suffer”.
Inez Brown, Partner at Medical Accident Group, said “if patients are not being admitted to hospital, they are being denied access to the treatment that they need, which will often cause their condition to deteriorate. Alongside putting patients’ lives at risks, a failure to provide appropriate medical treatment early on will often lead to the patient having to undergo more surgery, spend more time in hospital and undergo more extensive rehabilitation. A&E departments are under pressure but it is shocking that delays of up to 9 hours in getting patients to hospital are being allowed to happen.”
Unfortunately these delays are costing in excess of £30,000 at a time when hospitals need to be making costs saving exercises. In addition, the Health Department is currently proposing fixed fees for medical negligence claims for damages recovered of up to £250,000. This would limit access to justice for a number of patients who have received negligent treatment as medical negligence solicitors would find it difficult to investigate these claims. If there were fewer delays the government would make considerable savings to the national health bill.
If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of a delay in receiving treatment, Medical Accident Group can help. Our experienced and sympathetic team, whose knowledge of clinical negligence and personal injury law is extensive, can support you through the process of making a claim and seeking justice. We can advise on issues from brain injury or birth injury to surgical and medical errors and accidents at work. Call us free on 0800 050 1668.