GMB Experts in the World of Work
Join GMB today
 Follow @GMB_union

More Than 120 Ambulance Patients Die After Delays

Saturday, June 2, 2018

MORE THAN 120 AMBULANCE PATIENTS DIE AFTER DELAYS, GMB RESEARCH SHOWS

It’s sadly no surprise that delays are costing lives up and down the country says GMB

A total of 123 ambulance patients have died after delays accessing care since 2014, research by GMB, the union for ambulance workers reveals. [1]

A further 279 have been severely harmed due to delays accessing care, according the official statistics.

Overall, the total number of reported potentially harmful incidents rose by 52 per cent between 2014 and 2017.

The shock figures were revealed in response Freedom of Information Act request submitted by GMB to the regulator NHS Improvement.

They show that a total of 4,461 ambulance patients were hurt in some way due to access, admission, transfer or discharge problems.

GMB delegates are set to move a motion to review the emergency handover process for ambulance technicians and paramedics at the union’s Public Services Section Conference, ahead of the union’s 101st Congress in Brighton from June 4 to 6. [2]

Kevin Brandstatter, GMB National Officer, said:

"GMB members working for ambulance trusts continuously complain of lengthening times to hand patients over to A&E departments, leading to longer response times for 999 calls.

“It puts enormous strain and stress on people who are already working to the absolute limit of their capacity.

“It’s sadly no surprise these delays are costing lives up and down the country.

“This is a terrible indictment of the lack of investment in the NHS.

“Staff are overworked, underpaid and there are almost 100,000 vacancies throughout the NHS.

“This is a national scandal and the Government is solely to blame.

“Theresa May and her cabinet should call an early election so that the people can pass judgement.”

ENDS

Notes for editors

[1]

NHS Improvement provided the following figures in response to a GMB Freedom of Information Act request for details of incidents recorded in the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS):

Care Setting of Occurrence: Ambulance Service

Incident Category: Access, admission, transfer, discharge (including missing patient)

Degree of harm

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018*

Total

No Harm

1,644

2,134

2,309

2,859

659

9,605

Low

556

853

1,066

742

182

3,399

Moderate

203

147

100

145

65

660

Severe

97

50

47

61

24

279

Death

31

23

15

39

15

123

Total

2,531

3,207

3,537

3,846

945

14,066

[2] The GMB Public Services Conference is set to debate the below motion this Sunday [03 June 2018]:

KEEP OUR AMBULANCE CREWS ON THE ROAD

This Conference calls on the government to:

  1. Review the emergency handover process for ambulance technicians and paramedics.

  2. Focus new funding on better resources supporting ambulance crews and not further invest in private firms offering ‘ambulance services.’

A&E pressures are causing queues outside hospitals, while a chronic shortage of paramedics is stretching even thinner.  Across the country ambulance staff are working round the clock to do their best for patients. A&E departments across the country are being placed under immense pressure which is directly impacting on ambulance crews unable to move from one emergency to the next as a result of crews accompanying patients during the handover process on arrival at hospital.

Lives are being lost in the name of austerity.

P42 BRANCH

North West & Irish Region

Share this page
+1