Leaving Patients In Ambulances By Betsy Newmark

How do you make sure that patients get treated within four hours of arriving at the hospital? You leave them in the ambulances for a few hours until the hospital is ready to take them. That is what is happening in England to comply with a new law.

Seriously ill patients are being kept in ambulances outside hospitals for hours so NHS trusts do not miss Government targets.

Thousands of people a year are having to wait outside accident and emergency departments because trusts will not let them in until they can treat them within four hours, in line with a Labour pledge.

The hold-ups mean ambulances are not available to answer fresh 999 calls.

….Labour brought in the four-hour A&E target to end the scandal of patients waiting for days in casualty or being kept on trolleys in corridors.

But a shortage of out-of-hours GP care, after thousands of doctors opted out of treating patients outside working hours under lucrative new contracts, means more and more are going to casualty units, putting them under greater pressure.

Dr Jonathan Fielden of the British Medical Association said: “The vast majority of patients coming into hospital by ambulance are in critical need of care in hospital and therefore delay can worsen their outcome.”

Sam Oestreicher of Unison, which represents most ambulance workers, said: “Ambulances should not be used as mobile waiting rooms. They should be freed to do their job.

“These figures show there’s a terrible-and colossal waste of ambulance resources.”

Another story brought to you by the nationalized health care.

This content was used with the permission of Betsy’s Page.

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