If you’re a patient these delays are clearly intolerable.
If you’re a Taxpayer they’re not much better either because they are wasting your money for you.
Let me be clear, I am most definitely NOT a knocker of the NHS, I am a fervent supporter of the NHS and the principle of a cradle-to-grave, free-at-point-of-delivery Health Service. It’s what we pay a fortune in National Insurance contributions for, after all.
Yet again, however, Ambulance delays are making the headlines, well maybe not the headlines, but the news is buried there somewhere.
At the end of last year an article in the Daily Mirror revealed that hospitals were having to pay £44 MILLION in ‘fines’ for keeping ambulances waiting.
This money could have funded 1,000 new nurses on the wards, but was instead used to pay penalties which were introduced by the Government last April.
Ambulance trusts recorded 120,884 delays of 30 minutes and 14,721 of more than an hour between April and October.
Separate figures released by the NHS also showed 28,067 delays of 30 minutes between November 4 and December 18.
Hospitals are now ‘fined’ £200 for a delay of more than half an hour and £1,000 for waiting more than 60 minutes.
So, has it got any better? Are we still doling out the money, left hand paying the right, moving it from one budget to another, with, ultimately, the Taxpayers and the Patients being the biggest victims here.
The latest set of figures provided to a request by the Labour Party under the Freedom of Information Act suggest that, at best, the situation is stagnant, or at worst, deteriorating.
Nearly 300,000 ambulances were left queuing outside hospitals last year.
The longest recorded delay was more than eight hours, despite the 15-minute nationally agreed standard.
279,207 Ambulances were kept waiting for more than half an hour, and 30,601 for more than 1 hour. So that’s £55,841,400 of fines for Ambulances kept waiting for 30 minutes and £30,601,000 providing a total for 2013 of £86,442,400.
As I said just now, I’m not knocking the NHS or the Ambulance Service, to me the answer is simple, more resources. The coalition are running the NHS into the ground, I blame the millionaire politicians with various assorted vested interests.
Let it stop NOW. This is why there are no Ambulances when you need one, and it’s (in theory at least) a problem that can be fixed.
Make it so.