30,000 patients hit by ambulance delays of more than one hour

Posted by GMB Admin
Thursday 30 January 2020
GMB Trade Union - 30,000 patients hit by ambulance delays of more than one hour

GMB, the union for ambulance workers, has warned lives are being put at risk as new figures show 30,000 patients were hit by delays of more than an hour so far this winter

Although the total number of patients arriving at hospitals by ambulance was similar to last year, the number arrivals delayed by more than an hour shot up by a staggering 75.9 per cent compared to last winter.

And a shocking 120,000 patient conveyances were delayed by more than half an hour, GMB's analysis shows.

Category 2018/19 2019/20 Change (%)
Arriving by ambulance 774,316 784,049 1.3
Delay > 60 mins 17,253 30,351 75.9
Delay 30-60 mins 68,524 89,088 30.0
¬ Total delayed by 30 mins + 85,777 119,439 39.2

The figures, which cover the NHS in England, are for the period from the start of December to the 26 of January.

The union said that the reasons for the rise in delays include inadequate funding, unmanageable workloads, cuts to social care, handover delays when a patient reaches a hospital, and an increase in calls that do not require urgent medical attention.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer for the NHS, said:

'These shocking figures must be a wake-up call because patients' lives are at risk.

'Ambulance services are under incredible pressure but resources have not increased in line with rising demand.

'Our ambulance members are dedicated professionals but everyone has their breaking point.

'Urgent action is needed to address the crisis in ambulance services because staff and patients cannot endure another winter like this.'

Member requiring help?