Patients put at risk due to ambulance delays because their stuck in overcrowded A&E departments

ambulance delays

The delay for ambulance crews being able to hand patients over to hospitals in overcrowded A&E departments is said to be putting lives at risk.

With NHS figures indicating that almost 150,000 patients were cared for by ambulance crews for over half an hour over winter, from either being stuck in the back of an ambulance or in hospital corridors, crews are caught at hospital when they could be out on the road and ready to help people.

For every ambulance crew stuck at hospital looking after a patient because the A&E department is unable to take them as a result of overcrowding, there is a patient at home waiting for an ambulance that may not arrive in time.

We know the NHS is in need of more funding, but the overcrowding Accident and Emergency departments issue is withholding crews who may be unable to reach other patients in time. It’s obvious that handover delays are risking lives and putting patients in harm’s way. The longer it takes for an ambulance crew to reach a patient, the more their problem may develop, or become too complicated to treat as easily.

In the case of a stroke or a heart attack, it really is a race against the clock to minimise the damage and save a patient’s life. If a crew is unable to reach a patient in time, or get them to hospital quickly enough, their life is in danger.

From a legal perspective, there is a duty for treatment to be provided in a timely fashion to prevent complications or conditions worsening. A failure to treat a patient quickly enough can amount to medical negligence, so it’s concerning to note that patient treatment may be delayed due to ambulance crews stuck at overcrowded hospitals.

At the end of the day, it is the patients who suffer, and their suffering could be lifelong and severe. More must be done to prevent treatment delays so the need for patients making legal cases is reduced.

The content of this post/page was considered accurate at the time of the original posting and/or at the time of any posted revision. The content of this page may, therefore, be out of date. The information contained within this page does not constitute legal advice. Any reliance you place on the information contained within this page is done so at your own risk.

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