Long ambulance delays causing distress for patients and staff

Ambulance outside hospital

Commenting on data published today (Thursday) by NHS England showing that NHS waiting lists are at a record high and targets for 999 response times are being missed, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:

“The NHS has been experiencing winter-style pressures for months now. There are real fears that staff and services will be unable to cope as demand inevitably increases.

“Lengthy delays are causing much distress to ambulance crews and control room staff. They can’t respond as quickly as they would like to emergency calls. Staff are increasingly concerned that pressures on the system are compromising their codes of conduct.

“It is essential employers do everything within their power to hold onto experienced employees. Or delays and response times will worsen. Ministers too must realise the important role that pay plays, both in holding onto staff and ensuring a steady supply of new recruits.

“Shortfalls in the social care system are also adding to the problem. With no other support available, staff attending vulnerable elderly patients often have no option but to take them to hospital. They are then left queueing outside hospitals, preventing crews from getting back on the road to deal with the next emergency.”