BCP Lib Dems call for emergency five point plan as deadly ambulance delays grip local health services.
BCP Liberal Democrats have today called on the Government to bring in the army to help drive ambulances in the area, as the latest figures reveal 50 patients were stuck for more than an hour in ambulances outside the local A&Es in the last week alone.
New official figures published this week reveal that ambulance response times to emergency 999 calls are exceeding government pledges in the South West. In November, the average response time for Category 2 calls (emergency calls involving a serious condition that may require rapid assessment and/or urgent transport, such as a stroke or chest pain) was 1 hour 13 minutes and 39 seconds – more than four times the 18-minute target.
Meanwhile, 99 patients in University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust spent more than 30 minutes waiting to be handed over from an ambulance to A&E last week – 50 of them were waiting for more than an hour.
The findings come a month after the Liberal Democrats secured confirmation from the Government that South Western Ambulance Trust is now at REAP Level 4 - the highest alert level, indicating “extreme pressure” - along with all other ambulance trusts in England. Both the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives and the College of Paramedics have warned that delays are causing patients harm and putting them at risk.
In response to this week’s alarming figures, the Liberal Democrats have set out an emergency five point plan to tackle the growing crisis of ambulance delays that is leaving seriously ill patients in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole waiting hours to be treated. In addition to calling in support from the armed forces, the plan includes reversing ambulance station closures, launching an official inquiry, passing a new law to increase transparency over waiting times, and launching a new campaign to recruit more paramedics and other ambulance staff in Bournemouth and Poole.
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health and Social Care for BCP, Cllr. Chris Matthews, said:
“People across Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch are watching loved ones in distress, stuck in the back of an ambulance waiting to be admitted to A&E outside our local hospitals. This is heartbreaking and it can not go on.
“The Conservatives have run our NHS services in Dorset into the ground, breaking waiting time promises for years and years.
“Our plan would relieve some of the immediate pressure and help fix the ambulance crisis for good, so that people across the BCP area know that they can get to hospital in an ambulance and receive the care they deserve when they need to.”
Daisy Cooper MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health and Social Care, said:
“Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have neglected health services for years, and patients in Bournemouth and Poole are now suffering as a result.
“The Prime Minister must stop sticking his head in the sand, get a grip of this crisis, and do whatever it takes to stop communities facing record waiting times.”