SUSTAINED pressure on health services saw more than a dozen ambulances queuing outside Poole Hospital’s A&E department on Tuesday afternoon, with some patients being treated by an ambulance on the curb outside.
Thirteen ambulances were seen waiting outside A&E around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, something paramedics say is not unusual.
Paramedics were seen caring for patients who could not be checked into A&E in the back of ambulances.
Five ambulances had to wait on the sidewalk outside the hospital because there was not enough room for everyone in the drop zone.
One paramedic said, “It’s a sign of the times.” Another added: “This is sadly no longer unusual. It’s hard to say how long we could be waiting, how long is a piece of string?
A University Hospitals Dorset spokesperson reminds patients to first call 111 to ensure emergency departments are the best place to receive care.
Another paramedic was not sure what is to blame for the ambulance backlog. He said: “You can look at it two ways: on the one hand, everyone who calls for an ambulance needs one.
“But also, are we getting enough funding for services?”
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A spokesperson for University Hospitals Dorset said: “Our UHD emergency departments remain under pressure with a large number of patients attending.
“We always prioritize our patients to ensure those most in need are seen as quickly as possible and this may cause delays for some patients for which we apologize.
“When appropriate, we ask patients to first contact 111 to ensure our emergency departments are the best place for their care or if there is a better place to receive treatment.
“We continue to work closely with our partners at Dorset NHS to ensure that when patients are medically ready for care in the community, they can leave with an appropriate continuing care package to help free up space for new patients coming in. indoors. This will help relieve pressure on our emergency departments.”
Nationwide, the average response time for major emergencies requiring an ambulance has more than doubled in the last three years, standing at 51 minutes and 38 seconds in June, NHS England figures show.
A spokesman for the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said: “The whole health and social care system has been under sustained pressure for many months, this means that some patients are having to wait for an ambulance longer than they expected.”
“Our performance has not returned to pre-pandemic levels, in part due to delivery delays in emergency departments.
“We are working with our partners in the NHS and across social care to ensure our ambulance doctors can get back on the road as quickly as possible, to answer other 999 calls and improve the service patients receive.”
Yesterday, Health Secretary Therese Coffey pledged her commitment to the A&E target of four hours for people to be admitted, transferred or discharged, as major plans went before Parliament to improve access to care. of the NHS.
The target has not been met since 2015.