An NHS belief has hit again at a coroner who criticised a ‘gross failure of care’ that noticed a affected person die after ready eight hours for an ambulance.
Staffordshire assistant coroner Sarah Murphy beforehand warned there was a threat of future deaths except College Hospitals of North Midlands took motion to handle the ‘extreme’ handover of sufferers on the Royal Stoke College Hospital.
However the belief claims, in a response printed lately by the chief coroner, it has been unfairly singled out over what its says is a nationwide drawback, as a file 4,721 ambulance hours had been misplaced final month exterior of its A&E because of delays in taking sufferers.
That’s the equal of taking round 12 ambulances out of service every day.
The native ambulance belief has additionally been vital of handover delays on the hospital, which has a knock impact for his or her service.
A West Midlands Ambulance Belief spokesperson mentioned: “Regardless of a few of the lowest numbers of sufferers conveyed within the final seven years, we now have the best stage of ambulance hours misplaced because of handover delays.
“The scenario could be very severe and represents a major threat to affected person security. We don’t at present see actions being taken which can be decreasing this threat.”
NHS leaders throughout the nation have been informed they need to deal with ambulance handover delays “instantly” as stroke sufferers are left ready hours for an ambulance which ought to come inside 18 minutes.
West Midlands Ambulance Service claimed it has been elevating issues over handover delays throughout the area for six years however mentioned the issue has grow to be progressively worse yearly.
In response to inquiries to its board executives, shared with The Impartial, West Midlands Ambulance Service mentioned delays on the Royal Stoke Hospital website had been presenting “notably excessive dangers to affected person care”.
The ambulance belief mentioned regardless of progress in 999 calls, the variety of sufferers taken to Royal Stoke has dropped by 11 per cent in comparison with pre-covid occasions and is decrease than it has been for seven years.
It mentioned: “Regardless of this, the variety of ambulance hours misplaced because of handover delays exceeding quarter-hour, the nationally mandated normal for a affected person handover, continues to rise month on month, with the best price of rise occurring since April 2021.”
Coroner Ms Murphy despatched a ‘prevention of future deaths’ warning to UHNM and nationwide regulator NHS England final November, three months after the inquest into the dying of 50-year-old Shaun Mansell.
She warned the hospital and NHS England in November final 12 months there have been “extreme delays in handing over sufferers at hospital” with some being held for over 4 hours at UHNM.
She mentioned this impacted the ambulance service’s potential to answer different sufferers.
A press release in response from UHNM mentioned on the night time Mr Mansell died “ambulances had been delayed at UHNM as they had been at most hospitals up and down the nation…
“I can not perceive why UHNM could be singled out on this means, in relation to this incident, when the explanation for ambulance delays at hospitals are multifactorial and depend on many system companions and organisations, together with the ambulance service, to resolve.”
The belief mentioned it might not have the option make the distinction required to cut back ambulance delays alone as it’s a “nationwide concern”, nevertheless the belief mentioned it took its share of the duty “very severely.”
Among the many points inflicting handover delays UHNM mentioned round a 3rd of sufferers who attend A&E don’t must be there, and sufferers arrive as a result of they can not get an appointment with their GP because the service faces a workforce disaster.
The belief additionally mentioned sufferers are ready too lengthy in emergency departments for psychological well being assessments from different suppliers, and ED could be much less congested if this had been improved.
In its response to the coroner NHS England mentioned it recognises “hospital handover delays are a major problem for ambulance companies and acute trusts each regionally and nationally and tackling this can be a excessive precedence for NHS England and NHS Enchancment.”
NHS England has beforehand despatched two letters to hospital chiefs asking them to handle handover delays “instantly”, nevertheless ambulance sources have mentioned the issue has solely gotten worse.