Patients face a life-threatening postcode lottery in 999 emergencies due to ambulance wait times, report warns

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  • Patients successful worst performing areas enactment successful infirmary double nan clip connected average

By Shaun Wooller Health Editor

Published: 20:44 EDT, 24 October 2023 | Updated: 03:15 EDT, 25 October 2023

Patients look a life-threatening postcode lottery of ambulance consequence times successful an emergency, a damning study by MPs warns.

The Public Accounts Committee recovered really quickly an ambulance will get depends excessively overmuch connected wherever nan diligent lives.

Its caller study besides says that not capable is being done to tackle infirmary furniture blocking, meaning location is not capable capacity for caller arrivals.

MPs opportunity nan NHS has much money and unit than ever earlier but has grounded to usage it decently to amended entree for patients successful request of urgent care.

Performance successful this area has fallen 'far beneath nan modular nan NHS says patients should expect and receive', members added, arsenic they called for nan NHS and Department of Health and Social Care to make improvements.

A study by MPs has shown that emergency ambulance consequence times alteration greatly depending connected wherever a diligent lives (File Photo)

People successful immoderate parts of nan state person to hold much than 3 minutes longer for an ambulance to get erstwhile they are facing a life-threatening emergency, nan committee said.

It highlighted that successful 2021/22, mean ambulance consequence times for nan astir superior incidents - including cardiac arrests - varied from six minutes 51 seconds for nan London Ambulance Service to 10 minutes 20 seconds for nan South Western Ambulance Service.

There is besides wide variety successful really nan NHS performs successful sending patients location erstwhile they nary longer request infirmary care.

The magnitude of enactment successful nan worst performing areas for discharging medically fresh patients is much than double that of nan champion performing areas, nan study highlights.

The number of patients staying successful infirmary contempt nary longer needing to beryllium location averaged 13,623 crossed nan past 4th of 2022/23 - up from 12,118 during nan aforesaid play successful 2021/22.

Staying successful infirmary excessively agelong tin hamper betterment and forestall patients who request operations and different attraction from being admitted.

The study blames problems discharging older patients from infirmary into big societal care, delays successful hospitals' ain processes, transfers to NHS organization settings, and nan proviso of short-term attraction packages, aliases nursing aliases residential care.

This past group tin beryllium forced to hold up to 5 weeks from erstwhile they are fresh to time off hospital.

The MPs said: 'Not capable is being done to reside nan systemic issues pinch discharges that dishonesty wrong nan gift of nan NHS and its hospitals, and which cannot beryllium blamed connected outer factors.'

The NHS has not met targets for A&E waits since July 2015 and nan clip it takes for ambulance crews to manus complete patients to doctors since November 2017.

'Against this background, we asked really effective nan (health) section has been successful holding NHS England to relationship for nan declining performance,' nan committee added.

It said investments successful exertion and infrastructure will beryllium 'critical' to improving productivity, but nan Department of Health and Social Care 'does not look to person budgeted for immoderate specified investment'.

The caller study besides identified furniture blocking arsenic a captious issue, pinch patients from worst performing areas staying successful infirmary astir double nan clip of those successful good performing areas (File Photo)

Furthermore, NHS England's existing plans 'lack ambition fixed nan standard of nan rumor astatine hand'.

The study besides highlights very precocious levels of unit sick wellness and turnover rates, pinch nan PAC near unconvinced by NHS England's attack to reside workforce shortfalls.

NHSE hopes to clasp 130,000 unit who would different time off complete nan adjacent 15 years, an aspiration which nan PAC describes arsenic 'highly doubtful'.

Labour MP Dame Meg Hillier, who chairs nan cross-party PAC, said: 'Patients suffering agelong waits and hard-pressed unit moving successful a strategy which is not delivering merit better.

'Excluding demand-led spending specified arsenic use payments, wellness takes up astir 40 per cent of day-to-day budgeted spending by Whitehall departments.

'It is captious this is delivering benefits for patients.' Professor Julian Redhead, NHS England's nationalist objective head for urgent and emergency care, said capacity has since improved and unit are moving difficult to header pinch grounds demand.

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