A student paramedic has said that she was with a patient stuck in her ambulance for 14.5 hours stuck in a queue of other ambulances filled with patients because there was no hospital beds.
Fay Shepherd claimed that previously she has been stuck in a queue of more than twenty ambulances at hospital in Cornwall.
She posted on Twitter this morning, “During last night’s 14.5hr shift, we saw ONE patient.
“That’s not because there’s no demand, but because we were stuck at hospital for the entire duration, waiting for bed space.
“Meanwhile, people are dying waiting for ambulances. What part of this is sustainable Sajid Javid?”
The Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said that the pressure the NHS is facing is “sustainable” and this has enraged medics.
Medics have warned the government for many months that the NHS is at breaking point and Javid has refused to introduce measures this winter.
Shepherd tweeted last month, “Midway through October she tweeted: ‘Currently 23rd in the queue, out of 25 ambulance crews waiting to enter the emergency department.
“There’s a palpable sense of concern amongst staff, hearing general broadcast after general broadcast with few remaining resources available to send.
“It’s not even winter. Help.”
Then on 16 October the paramedic wrote, “Just booked on for the night shift. Our day crew were off three hours late on their twelve hour shift, due to a seven hour wait to take their patient into hospital.
“Night crew sat for three hours without an ambulance to book on to.
“This is the situation right now.”
She said that what is creating the long queues of ambulances is because there is a lack of social care services available to discharge people from hospital.
Shepherd said, “The problem is that patients that would be safe to discharge from hospital with a package of care, are unable to be because of the lack of adult social care services available.
“This means there aren’t beds available and has caused everything to back up.”
In a statement, Southwest Ambulance Service said, “Our response times are directly affected by the time it takes us to handover patients into busy hospital emergency departments, which is longer than we have ever seen before,’ a spokesperson said.
“We are losing many more hours compared with recent years which causes our ambulances to queue outside hospitals and unable to respond to other patients and has an inevitable impact on the service we can provide.
“This is a health system problem which therefore demands a system solution.
“It is an absolute priority for us and our NHS partners to reduce these delays, so we can be there for our patients, while prioritising those who are most seriously injured and ill.”