Ambulance delays through the surge in coronavirus circumstances earlier than Christmas led to folks dying of different sicknesses equivalent to coronary heart assaults and strokes, medical doctors have mentioned.


Dr Adrian Boyle, vice chairman of the Royal School of Emergency Medication, mentioned ambulances ready exterior hospitals over the festive interval led to ‘secondary Covid victims’.

Figures present the variety of hours ambulances spent ready to drop off sufferers elevated by nearly two thirds (63 per cent) in London and almost a half (48 per cent) within the West Midlands, in comparison with the identical interval in 2019.

Transferral occasions are famous by ambulance trusts if the time spent exterior hospital is delayed by over half-hour.

Figures show the number of hours ambulances spent waiting to drop off patients increased by almost two thirds (63 per cent) in London in the fortnight over Christmas and New Year (pictured: ambulances in a queue outside the Royal London Hospital)

Figures present the variety of hours ambulances spent ready to drop off sufferers elevated by nearly two thirds (63 per cent) in London within the fortnight over Christmas and New Yr (pictured: ambulances in a queue exterior the Royal London Hospital)

Ambulances waited for a complete of 4,164 hours within the capital metropolis within the fortnight over Christmas and New Yr, in comparison with 2,550 hours the yr earlier, based on the BBC‘s data request.

Within the West Midlands, ambulances have been delayed for 3,954 hours over the 2 weeks from December 28, in comparison with 2,673 hours in 2019. 

Rose Rwagasore, who works as a nurse in North London, acquired a telephone name from her kids on New Yr’s Eve to say her husband had suffered from a stroke.

She phoned 999 however an ambulance did not arrive till till three hours after, by which period Robert Wabwire, 48, had died.

She advised Radio 4’s In the present day Programme: ‘We referred to as 999 once more. ll they might ask us was whether or not he was respiration. 

‘One other name we took was round 1am, and I used to be telling them that now he seems like he will cease respiration, so I started the cardiac therapeutic massage.’

Angela Templeton spent six hours ready for an ambulance for her associate, Graham, who was ultimately taken to intensive care after struggling sepsis and is now recovering.

She mentioned: ‘You do not know what to do in that state of affairs. You’ve got completed all the things you possibly can. You’ve got phoned, you’ve got referred to as, a GP has mentioned it’s a must to go to hospital and also you’re too sick to go in a automotive, with me, so we simply needed to sit and wait. 

Ambulances pictured queueing outside A&E at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. In the West Midlands, ambulances were delayed for 3,954 hours over the two weeks from December 28, compared to 2,673 hours in 2019

Ambulances pictured queueing exterior A&E at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Within the West Midlands, ambulances have been delayed for 3,954 hours over the 2 weeks from December 28, in comparison with 2,673 hours in 2019

Paramedics wearing PPE are pictured preparing to remove a patient from an ambulance at The Royal London Hospital on December 30 last year

Paramedics sporting PPE are pictured making ready to take away a affected person from an ambulance at The Royal London Hospital on December 30 final yr 

A man leans on an ambulance outside The Royal London Hospital on December 30 last year. The College of Paramedics said first responders were under unprecedented pressure

A person leans on an ambulance exterior The Royal London Hospital on December 30 final yr. The School of Paramedics mentioned first responders have been below unprecedented strain

‘It was simply so scary. No person would pay attention.’ 

Talking this morning, Dr Boyle mentioned: ‘It sounds completely ghastly. You may really feel, listening to those tales, that any person has felt completely helpless on the worst time of their lives. It is completely ghastly.

‘Ambulances being unable handy over the sufferers is sort of a canary within the coal mine. That occurs as a result of the emergency division is full, and in flip the hospital is full.

‘Hospitals have much less capability, each the emergency departments and the in-patient wards. They’ve much less area due to the necessity to social distance, and so they did this time final yr.  

‘We predict we’re in all probability about 7000 beds down, in comparison with this time final yr, which goes to have an effect.

‘Not solely that, even earlier than the pandemic we have been at all times having some type of winter disaster that we might at all times make a fuss about. 

‘However we have been in a state previous to the pandemic the place we have been accepting, going into January, at all times making ready for this type of winter disaster, and it is normalising a deeply irregular state of affairs.’ 

Referring to ambulance delays resulting in ‘secondary Covid victims’, he added: ‘When an ambulance cannot offload I believe there are three victims. So the primary is the one who’s behind the ambulance, as a result of the paramedic has already made a balanced {and professional} determination that that particular person has to go to hospital.

‘You may’t give as a lot care behind an ambulance as say you possibly can in an emergency division. You’ve got then obtained the second sufferer, the one who’s the following affected person, who the ambulance cannot get to as a result of they’re caught exterior a hospital.

‘Then lastly there’s the third sufferer, who’s the paramedic who’s taking care of it, and the paramedic who’s caught exterior in an ambulance ready to dump at finest will really feel helpless. 

‘In the event that they’re caught in a small metallic field with Covid, they’re being put at vital medical danger.’

An NHS England spokesperson advised MailOnline: ‘Regardless of seeing a big improve within the variety of sufferers with coronavirus on the finish of December, the NHS has labored collectively to liberate capability and allow faster affected person handovers, leading to 35 per cent discount within the variety of ambulances ready over half-hour from the tip of December to the start of February. 

‘The NHS can also be investing £450m to streamline the evaluation and therapy of sufferers inside Emergency Departments and enhance handover.’ 

A Division of Well being and Social Care spokesperson mentioned: ‘Covid-19 has put the NHS below acute strain and our heroic paramedics, nurses and medical doctors have been doing all the things potential to make sure hospitals proceed to offer important providers and high quality healthcare.

‘We recognise the distinctive challenges dealing with the NHS and we proceed to verify our well being service has the capability and sources – each monetary and sensible – it must proceed to climate the Covid storm.’

A London Ambulance Service Spokesperson additionally advised MailOnline: ‘December 2020 was our busiest-ever month after we responded to extra emergency calls than through the peak of the primary wave. 

‘Whereas we took steps to fulfill this unprecedented demand and labored with the native NHS to cut back delays, sadly some sufferers waited longer than we might have favored for an ambulance response.

‘Our sympathies are with anybody who has misplaced family members at this tough time, and we encourage and ask these with considerations to contact our affected person expertise group.’

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