Home Business News Ambulance trust faces a ‘titanic moment’ and could collapse this summer as papers warn of an England-wide ‘catastrophic situation’

Ambulance trust faces a ‘titanic moment’ and could collapse this summer as papers warn of an England-wide ‘catastrophic situation’

by LLB staff reporter
25th May 22 11:24 am

Committee papers are warning of an England wide “catastrophic situation” as a struggling ambulance trust is facing collapse.

Mark Docherty, of West Midlands Ambulance Service warned that the trust is facing a “titanic moment” as patients are “dying every day” which is avoidable and is created by ambulance delays.

He said that he doe not understand why NHS England and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) were “not all over” the issue.

Docherty said in an interview with the Health Service Journal (HSJ) that there are many patients waiting in the back of ambulances for 24 hours before they can be admitted into hospital.

In March documents from a quality governance meeting at the trust showed another director warning that “deaths are happening which should not be happening.”

Nationally, patients are being let down in a “catastrophic situation” and there has been more than 100 serious recorded incidents at West Midlands Ambulance Service related to deaths as there were unable to respond due to them being held up at hospitals.

Docherty warned that the service will collapse in August, he said, “Around August 17 is the day I think it will all fail.

“I’ve been asked how I can be so specific, but that date is when a third of our resource (will be) lost to delays, and that will mean we just can’t respond.

“Mathematically it will be a bit like a Titanic moment.

“It will be a mathematical (certainty) that this thing is sinking, and it will be pretty much beyond the tipping point by then.”

He added: “It would make me the happiest person in the world if everyone in the system proves to me that actually the ambulance service in the West Midlands isn’t going to fail on August 17, and I’ve got it completely wrong.”

He also told the HSJ that the amount of medically fit patients in bed is “criminal … when I’ve got teenagers dying on the street from things that are completely reversible.”

He added, “All of the issues that we’re building for the future are huge. And I don’t know why the CQC are not all over this, I don’t know why NHS England is not all over this.”

An NHS spokesman said, “The NHS has been working hard to reduce ambulance delays and £150m of additional system funding has been allocated for ambulance service pressures in 2022-23.

“There is no doubt the NHS still faces pressures, and the latest figures are another reminder of the crucial importance of community and social care, in helping people in hospital leave when they are fit to do so, not just because it is better for them but because it helps free up precious NHS bed space.”

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