Criminal News
Curiosities from the world, criminal news

Patient waited almost 10 hours for transfer from ambulance crew to A&E – Belfast Live

0 0

Patients are waiting up to 10 hours to be transferred from the care of the ambulance crews to A&Es in Northern Ireland, figures revealed yesterday.

A Freedom of Information by Belfast Live found it took one patient nine hours and 55 minutes to be handed over to emergency staff at Ulster Hospital.

That incident in December was the worst wait recorded by Northern Ireland Ambulance Service last year.

The call had been logged as Category B, which meant it was serious if not life-threatening.

There were 31 patients who faced waits of more than four hours outside A&E last year. That was up from 29 in 2017/18.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service told Belfast Live they have introduced a number of measures to tackle the issue.

One NIAS source also insisted patients being treated by paramedics ahead of being transferred to hospital EDs are “not waiting in the back of an ambulance”.

 

The figures include a wait of nine hours and four minutes at Ulster Hospital in March for a call logged as Category A, which is the most serious level, where there is, potentially, an immediate threat to life.

An NIAS spokesman said while turnaround times are a priority: “Delays are a symptom of wider unscheduled care pressures, in particular delays in discharging some patients”.

He added: “NIAS has for a number of years worked with colleagues in the HSC Trusts and at the Health and Social Care Board to address the situation as these delays impact upon the availability of crews to respond to other emergencies.

“NIAS has in position, at a number of A&Es, paramedics acting as hospital ambulance liaison officers to assist with patient flow in and out of the hospital.

“They work with bed managers to discharge patients in a timely manner in order to alleviate the build up of patients at the ED requiring admission to wards.

“Additionally at times of greater pressure eg winter, NIAS has placed ‘hospital receivers at A&E who will provide continuity of care to those, less seriously ill or injured, patients who are waiting to be treated, thereby enabling crews to respond to other calls.

 

“While patients are waiting to be “handed over” to staff in the ED, they remain in the care of ambulance paramedics or emergency medical technician in the Emergency Department and not in ambulances.

“NIAS will continue to monitor and review the situation in respect of the issue of turnaround times and will work with healthcare partners to find solutions to the problem.”

Overall, 5,742 ambulance arrivals at Northern Ireland A&Es took more than an hour to handover in 2018/19.

This was up from 5,229 in 2017/18, and is the highest number since comparable figures began in 2011/12.

Crews are supposed to hand over patients within 15 minutes of arriving at A&Es but this target was attained by just 20.2% of arrivals in the period of 2018 to 2019.

This is the lowest proportion since comparable figures began.

And 57% took between 15 minutes and 30 minutes, while 17.9% took between 30 minutes and an hour.

However, there is considerable variation between hospitals in terms of the lengths of waits faced by patients.

 

At Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children in Belfast, 36.7% of handovers took place in 15 minutes in 2018/19.

In Downe Hospital that figure was 32.1%.

At Ulster Hospital 12% took less than 15 minutes while at Craigavon Area Hospital it was 17.1%.

At Craigavon, 25% of transfers took between 30 minutes and an hour, the highest proportion.

Concerns about long handover times delaying ambulance crews have been raised by coroners as potentially dangerous.

           

Keep up-to-date with all the very latest news, what’s on, sport and everything else in Belfast and beyond with the Belfast Live app.               

Only select news that interests you by picking the topics you want to display on the app’s homepage. Plus, our enhanced user experience includes live blogs, video, interactive maps and slick picture galleries. Download it now and get involved.        

Click here to get it from the App Store or here for Google Play .

Original »

Comments
Loading...