Wasted hours of East Midlands Ambulance Service (Emas) crews
Thousands of hours are being wasted by skilled ambulance crews who have to wait with patients because accident and emergency doctors are too busy to see them.
Figures from East Midlands Ambulance Service (Emas) show that, last month, crews had to wait with 76 patients who were on ambulance stretchers before they could be seen in A&E at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
The figures also show that in the five weeks from Monday, December 17, ambulance crews had to wait more than half an hour – double the Government's target time – with 419 patients before A&E staff were able to take on their care.
In addition, there is concern the average handover time of patients has risen from 15mins 49secs in January (2012) to 20mins 31secs last month.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
John Barnes, 64, a retired ambulance man from Barkby, wants Emas bosses to take tough action.
Mr Barnes, chairman of the patient group at the Syston Jubilee Medical Centre, said: "I have asked for a breakdown of the hours paramedics and crews are sitting around waiting for their patients to be seen.
"Emas should be telling Leicester's hospitals it is not a patient handling service.
"Ambulance crews have skills that are being wasted while they are sitting around instead of being able to get back on the road to patients."
Emas figures show that across its region 594 hours were lost last month due to delays in getting patients into A&E departments.
Phil Milligan, Emas chief executive, said: "Hospital and ambulance turnaround is not something that can be resolved individually by organisations.
"We continue to work hard with our hospitals and commissioners to bring down times."
He said a scheme to install sensors on emergency department doors and fit transmitters to ambulance stretchers trolleys and computers used by crews to record patient details would be extended to all A&E departments by May this year.
Mr Milligan said: "This will enable accurate monitoring of hospital and ambulance turnaround times."
An Emas spokesman said: "It's important we stress patients are seen dependent on their clinical condition. If someone needs vital care, they get it."
Phil Walmsley, head of operations at Leicester's hospitals, said: "When the level of activity in the emergency department is so high it impacts on our ability to take patients out of ambulances, we send senior staff to the ambulance arrival area to ensure that all is being done to speed up handover.
Mr Walmsley said changes to the layout of the department were being made and equipment was being bought to help speed up the flow of patients.