Ambulance Waiting Times – Ambulance Negligence Claims

Ambulance Waiting Times
BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam
Legally reviewed by: BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam In: Medical Negligence
  • 9 hours to attend an 87-year-old who sustained a fall and had a suspected hip fracture
  • 4 hours to attend a possible stroke victim
  • 37 minutes to attend a baby experiencing a seizure

You would be forgiven for thinking these ambulance waiting times were quoted from the past. Sadly, these are real-life waiting times experienced by people up and down the UK in 2022 with an NHS at breaking point.

Why Are Ambulance Waiting Times So High

A recent ITV documentary went behind the scenes with some of the busiest ambulance services in the NHS. The problem appears to be multi-factorial, and no doubt is compounded by years of under-funding to the NHS. However, the current pressing issue is that there is a larger demand than ever for ambulances. The ambulances that do arrive at Hospitals are often there for hours. As a result, this reduces the number of ambulances available to attend the next emergency.

Waiting Times Six Times Over Target

The average waiting time for an ambulance for someone suffering a heart attack is now 1 hour 54 minutes. This is 6 times the NHS target time. The 4-hour A&E target has not been met in 4 years. The 18-week treatment target has not been met in 5 and a half years. In December 2021, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said that due to delays and overcrowding in A&E departments, there were an additional 4,500 deaths in one year.

Ambulance Waiting Time Delays Resulting in Delayed Recovery or Death

A survey of 2,300 ambulance staff by the GMB Union found that 85% have witnessed delays that have seriously affected a patient’s recovery. Additionally, 35% of ambulance staff believe cases they have been part of have contributed to a patient’s death.

£20 Million Pound Investment to Improve Ambulance Waiting Times

The Department of Health has announced that there will be a £20 million pound investment in ambulances this year. Although this should help in reducing the waiting time for an ambulance it doesn’t help with additional factors which are contributing to the delays – such as a lack of staff in Hospitals to get patients to a bed and treat them and reduced social care capacity to safely discharge those people who need help in the community. A further £3 billion pounds has been promised to Hospitals to tackle the issue of discharging patients, so Hospitals can focus on treating patients who are arriving.

Ambulance Negligence Claims – AWH Medical Negligence Solicitors

Ambulance service and paramedics are there to provide urgent care to patients who are experiencing a medical emergency. It is their responsibility to triage and treat patients experiencing life-threatening medical issues.

There can be instances where the ambulance service and paramedics make mistakes that can result in a prolonged patient recovery or even a patient’s death. The result of this can severely impact the patient and their family’s lives.

Some examples of ambulance and paramedic negligence are:

  • Ambulance delays and slow response times in an emergency
  • A failure to provide emergency treatment
  • Not providing the appropriate treatment
  • A failure to correctly identify symptoms and carry out correct observations
  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition
  • Not admitting the patient to the hospital when needed
  • A delay in providing the needed treatment to the patient

Helping Victims of Medical Negligence Make a Claim

AWH is currently investigating a claim for an elderly lady who suffered a fall at home. Upon arrival at the hospital, a Consultant at the A&E Department stated that a 6-hour delay for the ambulance was stated to have been potentially responsible for an acute renal failure.  The lady improved slightly following her admission. However, there was a failure to provide all of her medication from home which allegedly caused a bleed in her stomach and led to her death five days later.

If you or a family member has suffered due to ambulance service neglect, our team of expert medical negligence solicitors can help you start your ambulance service claim.

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