There are serious concerns from UK officials and Health authorities over the health care system’s crisis concerning the failings in its emergency responses.
New figures out of the UK have shown that 999 callers with potentially life-threatening conditions across the country are being forced to wait up to an hour for an ambulance.
Since winter, the already extended emergency wait times have continued to increase.
According to data published by the Birmingham Mail, ambulance services should receive the 999 calls within 18 minutes of being made, and within 40 minutes at least 9 out of 10 times, according to NHS targets. On average it should take ambulances just over 8 minutes to reach urgent life-threatening cases.
NHS data showed that patients with serious conditions not deemed life-threatening waited for an average of 56 minutes for ambulance services after making a 999 call in April.
In situations like this where every minute is critical, UK emergency services are buckling under the strain, which in some part is attributed to the hours lost due to long ramping delays.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) acknowledged the ‘dangerously long ambulance response times and harmful delays to treatment in overcrowded A&E departments.’
Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan BHU Associate medical director and consultant cardiologist said,
“We are seriously concerned that this crisis is now worse than ever with no sign of improving, despite health workers doing all they can for every patient.”
The BBC reported that between March 2021 and February 2022 there were over 550 ‘serious safety reports’ filed by UK ambulance staff. The figures show an increase of 312 reports during the same period between 2020-2021.
Pressure is being exerted on the Government by Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire’s Helen Morgan who said,
“Every week I am contacted by families whose loved ones have suffered as a result of ambulance, hospital, and GP delays and the situation is not only unfair to them but is also unfair to the hard-working ambulance crews, doctors, and nurses having to cope with unprecedented pressure.”