Hundreds of thousands of 999 calls each month are from patients asking why their ambulance hasn’t arrived yet, health chiefs reveal

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  • Calls to 999 hit a record 1.3 million last month, an increase of 273,025 compared to 2020
  • 75% of these additional calls are from patients who are eagerly waiting for an ambulance
  • A&E. Ambulance delays attributed to patients spending ‘too long’ in

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NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson says people calling 999 are contributing to the record number of emergency calls requesting updates on their delayed ambulances

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NHS officials have acknowledged there are hundreds of thousands of 999 calls every month from desperate people asking for updates on where their ambulance is.

More than 1.3 million emergency calls were made in England in October – up from 273,025 in the same period last year.

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Unprecedented demand, coupled with worsening handover delays, have left heart attack and stroke patients waiting for an ambulance for nearly an hour.

But three quarters of these additional calls – around 205,000 – are people repeatedly pleading for updates on when ambulance crews arrive, according to NHS providers.

The admission of Chris Hopson, chief executive of the body representing NHS trusts, comes amid the deadly NHS emergency care crisis, with thousands of patients waiting up to 13 hours for an A&E bed.

There are reports of patients dying in hospital car parks and behind ambulances in NHS corridors as handovers are delayed.

NHS England boss Amanda Pritchard has also commented on the crisis, saying patients are spending ‘too long hours at A&E’ and are unable to get discharged due to the overstretched social care system.

A record 999 calls were made to England in October, with 1,012,143 calling for immediate medical help.  But the time taken to answer these calls also increased to a record 56 seconds.

A record 999 calls were made to England in October, with 1,012,143 calling for immediate medical help. But the time taken to answer these calls also increased to a record 56 seconds.

The NHS has long struggled to meet its recommended ambulance response times for Category 2 incidents, which include medical emergencies such as stroke and severe burns, but after calling 999 over the past few months, the number of ambulances An unprecedented increase has been observed with patients waiting for an average of about an hour for

The NHS has long struggled to meet its recommended ambulance response times for Category 2 incidents, which include medical emergencies such as stroke and severe burns, but after calling 999 over the past few months, the number of ambulances An unprecedented increase has been observed with patients waiting for an average of about an hour for

Paramedic takes care of only one patient in 14.5 hour shift due to hospital queues

A paramedic describes taking care of only one patient in an entire shift because of the delay in handover at the hospital.

Faye Shepherd, a student paramedic for the South Western Ambulance Service, said Tuesday she saw just one patient in a 14.5-hour work day because her crew was “stuck in the hospital for the entire duration of time waiting for a bed space”.

In October, Ms Shepherd described a ‘clear sense of concern among staff’ as her ambulance was ‘the 23rd of 25 ambulance workers waiting to enter the emergency department’.

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The comments come as NHS data for October put the average waiting time for some emergency 999 ambulance calls at 54 minutes.

This is triple the 18-minute target of ambulance trusts to answer these ‘category 2’ calls, which include stroke and heart attack.

Speaking at the NHS Providers’ annual conference yesterday, Mr Hopson said: ‘We think about three quarters of the additional phone calls coming in on 999 are repeat dialers basically trying to figure out where the ambulance is. What has happened, they have to wait long. Too long for.’

Ms Pritchard also warned about healthcare pressure in a separate speech at the NHS providers’ conference yesterday.

While she said the health service was still dealing with “thousands” of people seriously ill with Covid, she warned that the NHS was under even greater pressure from non-Covid patients.

“Even more pressure is being felt in the non-Covid urgent and emergency care system as people return to our services, perhaps for understandable reasons, away during the pandemic,” she said.

Ms Pritchard said there were ‘challenges’ in discharging patients from a ‘very stretched social care system’, resulting in delays in A&E with a knock-on effect on ambulance response times.

“Patients are spending too long in A&E, which means ambulances are waiting too long to hand over patients, which means the response time is not what any of us want,” she said.

He also said there was no indication it would end in the short term and a potentially severe cold for the NHS and patients.

“Signs show, we will leave no stone unturned for the time being,” she said. ‘The next few months are going to be like winter like no other.’

In recent weeks, the South Central Ambulance Trust has urged 999 callers to remain on hold and ‘remain on the line’ if their calls are not answered expeditiously because of the high volume of call responses. causing significant delay in time.

Nationally, nearly one in ten patients classified as a ‘category two’ emergency have to wait nearly two hours for an ambulance.

Wait times for life-threatening ‘category 1’ calls, such as when someone is not breathing or their heart has stopped, are among the worst on record.

Category 1 incidents, even the most serious, life-threatening emergencies, have seen delays of nine minutes and 20 seconds for ambulances with patients, significantly higher than the NHS's target of seven minutes.

Category 1 incidents, even in the most serious, life-threatening emergencies, have seen delays of nine minutes and 20 seconds for ambulances with patients, significantly exceeding the NHS’s target of seven minutes.

Eight NHS ambulance owners received £20,000 bonus this year – despite record emergency call times

MailOnline has revealed that eight NHS ambulance owners were awarded taxpayer-funded bonuses of up to £20,000 this year.

The revelation comes amid pleas for ministers to call in the military to deal with the current crisis in the ambulance sector, which has seen patients die in hospital car parks.

Heart attack and stroke victims now have to wait nearly an hour for an ambulance to arrive, which doctors say has led to a record 999 calls due to unprecedented demand and delays in handovers to vehicles due to space constraints in hospitals. Reason being forced to park outside. ,

Despite the shocking figures, senior officials of the three trusts were given bonus and salary hikes during the last year.

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