Menu & Search

With the rising demand on NHS services, the National Audit Office have warned that ambulance crews across the country are struggling to cope.

This new warning comes just two months after a BBC investigation found increasing delays in 999 calls being answered.

The National Audit Office say that a combination of rising demand, other pressures within the NHS and recruitment problems mean crews are finding it “increasingly difficult to cope” let alone hit their targets.

NHS bosses have revealed that they might relax the eight-minute target for calls, where it is not necessary.

South Western, Yorkshire, and West Midlands ambulance services are currently piloting a scheme where the eight-minute response is relaxed in cases such as fits, and strokes. Although the calls are urgent the evidence suggests that such a quick response is not necessary in these cases.

Prof Keith Willett, of NHS England, told the BBC: “These trials are designed to make sure ambulances focus on the right priority – getting to the most urgent patients in the quickest possible time and improving the service to all patients who dial 999.”

A BBC investigation found that ambulances were backed up on arrival at hospitals because staff were too busy to bring the patients into A&E.

The investigation also found that only one of the 13 ambulance services in the UK was meeting the eight-minute target to reach the most life-threatening cases.

The National Audit Office only looked at services in England. It has highlighted its findings to NHS bosses to review.

NHS England data shows that there has been a rise in demand over the past four years. In 2011/12 the number of 999 calls received was 8,157,648, by 2015/16 this had risen to 9,404,676.

One of the issues highlighted is that the 30% increase in calls has been met by only a 16% increase in funds.

Christina McAnea, of Unison, which represents ambulance staff, said: “There’s simply not enough money to cope.”

NHS England have said that steps are being taken and ambulances have been given longer to assess the calls before they attend to them.

Have you or a loved one suffered due to staff shortages, unsafe care or a failure of medical staff to carry out guidelines correctly? Pryers are a leading national firm of Medical Negligence Lawyers. Our dedicated team of lawyers and experts are well equipped to investigate and advise on all issues of medical treatment.

Start Your Claim Today Call 01904 556600
Tell us about your case

Just send us a little bit about yourself and your claim and we will respond within 24 hours.


Get In Touch
Latest News

Can The UK’s Roads Be Made E-Scooter Friendly?

The tragic death of YouTube star Emily Hartridge following an accident involving an e-scooter has put the spotlight on the current regulations around the […]

Read More

NHS Listeria Outbreak

The health secretary has ordered a review of hospital food after five patient deaths were linked to an outbreak of listeria. There have been […]

Read More

NHS Dentistry Crisis Leaving Millions Without Care

More than a million new UK patients were turned away by NHS dentists last year, on top of 700,000 who could not get an […]

Read More

Take a look back through our complete news archive

Follow us on Twitter

With the increase in popularity of more sustainable travel options like e-scooters, and the increase in accidents surrounding them, are our roads ready for more vulnerable road users? https://t.co/GFQhWQidyH #VulnerableRoadUsers #VRU #eScooters #RoadSafety #RideSafe

We've got a new position available in our New Enquiries Team, this role allows you to talk to clients and capture all the important information needed to start a claim for medical negligence or an accident. Check out our website for more details https://t.co/cbgTdGR6sX

Load More...