Paramedics have warned that patients are “at risk” as ambulance delays has hit a record high as waiting times has reached twice the national standard.
Data from NHS England shows the response time for a Category 2 call out, which includes heart attacks and strokes was a 45 minute wait in September, compared to the average target of 18 minutes.
Richard Webber, of the College of Paramedics, who is also a working paramedic, told the BBC that his colleagues “have never before experienced anything like this at this time of the year.”
He added, “Every day services are holding hundreds of 999 calls with no-one to send.
“The ambulance service is simply not providing the levels of service they should, patients are waiting too long and that is putting them at risk.”
Martin Flaherty, managing director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) said in October, “AACE remains extremely concerned about the unprecedented levels of hospital handover delays which are occurring across the UK.
“These have increased significantly since April, resulting in long waits for patients to be admitted to ED and a reduction in our ability to respond to patients in the community.
“These delays are in part due to the need to maintain social distancing in EDs alongside the unprecedented pressures in the whole urgent and emergency care system at present.
“We are especially concerned about the numbers of delays of over 60 minutes, which is where we believe most of the harm associated with these delays occurs.”