‘The system is broken’: Patients waiting 10 minutes for 999 calls to be answered


Some people dialing 999 have to wait for 10 minutes to get an answer, independent Have you learnt.

There is no way for ambulance call operators to know whether the call is a life-threatening situation before they can be answered, with staff warning that delays are likely to result in harm or death to some patients. .

a paramedic told independent: “The system is badly broken.”

Leaked data shows that hundreds of patients regularly wait for ambulances where they are needed. On Monday afternoon this week, there were 1,782 events waiting.

And once an ambulance is dispatched, 10 percent of category three, or urgent but non-life-threatening patients in the West Midlands so far this week are waiting about 12 hours for an ambulance, an average of five hours.

During the early hours of Sunday morning, it was taking an average of four minutes to answer hundreds of 999 calls, with some calls taking nine minutes and 43 seconds or more to answer.

One call handler said: “It’s not a matter of thinking what might happen on the other [end] Trying to get through those phones.”

Another paramedic said: “Cardiac arrest survival is reduced by about 10 percent for every minute without defibrillation, so these delays may harm a small number of patients.

Some paramedics have reported patients waiting more than 24 hours for an ambulance crew to come to them.

The situation in the West Midlands is being replicated across England, with seven in 10 of England’s ambulance trusts at their highest level of pressure, or what was called a black alert.

The London Ambulance Service announced an incident on Monday after hundreds of 999 calls threatened to overwhelm it. The capital’s ambulance service is at its highest level of ‘extreme pressure’ since June 17.

As the NHS heat crisis continues, and the scorching heat continues, ambulance workers have spoken out about poor care, saying patients have to wait eight hours to be handed over to A&E departments. Have to wait for eight hours.

One such delay of eight hours involved an elderly patient who had broken his hip. Delay in their care leads to a significant increase in mortality.

The pressure on the NHS is also being felt in hospitals, where the number of coronavirus patients continues to rise, reaching 4,063 in England on Wednesday – a 30 per cent increase in a week and to levels last seen in March this year.

The chief inspector of hospitals in England warned on Wednesday that patients were not getting the care they need and said urgent reform was needed on how emergency patients were treated.

a paramedic told independent Ambulance service workers are “nice people working under the most incredible pressure.”

Another worker said: “We are piling up over 500 jobs with patients waiting for hours for an ambulance response. This includes elderly vulnerable people who have fallen but are only eligible for a Category Three, so their calls are routinely pushed further down the queue. Over the past few days, I’ve been to patients waiting 11 or 13 hours. And to be clear, it’s not the hospitals’ fault. The system is badly broken.”

On 20 July, the West Midlands service received more than 6,400 emergency calls, compared to 4,000 calls on a typically busy day.

The increase in calls is believed to be due to the current heatwave as well as the increase of COVID in the community.

The service said callers should stay on the line until help arrived, but should not call back to check ambulance response times because it was preventing call handlers from talking to other employees.

The West Midlands Ambulance Service’s chief executive, Anthony Marsh, had previously warned staff that there was no doubt that delays outside hospitals were causing harm to patients and warned that 999 was not enough to deal with the volume of calls. There were no employees.

A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We continue to see high levels of demand for our service and our staff are working hard to prioritize our sickest and most seriously injured patients.

“Everyone will need an ambulance, but we are incredibly busy so if you need immediate medical advice – but this is not an emergency – visit NHS111 online or call 111 for advice and support.”

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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