Ambulance delays creating “secondary victims” of Covid-19
It has been reported, recently, in the popular press that during December 2020 delays caused by ambulances having to wait outside Hospitals before being able to “deliver” their patients has led to an increase in death and serious illness.
The statistics given for London and parts of the West Midlands showed that the number of hours that ambulances were waiting outside Hospitals increased, respectively by 63% and 48% when compared to the same period in 2019.
Dr Adrian Boyle, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine was quoted as saying that these delays had led “secondary Covid victims”.
The pressure on the UK’s National Health Service has been intolerable since the beginning of the pandemic and shows no signs of improving.
It is not just the fact that patients are waiting outside of Hospitals for treatment, although that is bad enough, it is the knock-on effect of delays in ambulances being able to discharge their patients and move on to the next “shout”.
There have been reports in the press of patients dying whilst waiting for ambulances to arrive (sometimes a wait of three or more hours) or suffering significantly worse illness because of the delay.
The impact of COVID 19 on the UK’s Health Service is far reaching and, unfortunately, ongoing with reports of routine treatments having been delayed as well as more serious diagnostic appointments being delayed or cancelled altogether.
It is concerning that the affects of these delays and cancellations are likely to become more evident as time passes.
Currently, we are receiving more and more enquiries from patients and their families who have experienced lengthy and unacceptable delays in diagnostic testing or treatment.
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