Pressure on NHS Emergency Services in England Rises

People suffering from heart attacks and strokes, among other medical emergencies, have had to wait for an average emergency response time of 51 minutes. This is according to government figures for June.

This is a considerable rise in people waiting to get the help they need.

Urgent care is being delayed

The previous month saw an average waiting time of 40 minutes. The desired target is 18 minutes.

This means that urgent care is being delayed and delays in getting to patients in need are leaving them waiting hours to be transferred to hospitals.

This could cause many conditions to get worse, or even have life-threatening consequences for many people.

June was the busiest on record for 999 calls

Increases in emergency response times come at a time when the current NHS waiting list increased to 6.6 million at the end of May — the highest number since records began in August 2007.

Adding to this, June was the busiest on record for 999 calls – with nearly 900,000 responded to.

At the same time, 2.8 million visited A&E across the country, with 22,034 people having to wait more than 12 hours to be seen.

Patients waiting for prolonged periods remains unacceptable

The Royal College of Nursing called the current situation “bleak”.

The president of the Society for Acute Medicine, Dr Tim Cooksley, added that “patients waiting for prolonged periods for urgent care remains unacceptable and must not be seen as the new ”.

26,874 NHS staff at NHS hospitals across the UK were off work because of Covid-related reasons on the 6th July – which adds to the current delays in treatment.

A perfect storm of rising Covid admissions and staff absences

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, the national medical director for NHS England, has said that a number of things may have contributed to the current delays.

He blamed the delays on a perfect storm of “rising Covid admissions, thousands of staff absences because of the virus, the heatwave, and record demand for ambulances and emergency care”.

The heatwave this weekend and early next week (16-19th July 2022) could also contribute further to the current waiting list and delays in treatment. Temperatures are expected to exceed 35C from Sunday to Tuesday.

Prof Sir Stephen added: “While the current heatwave is not shown in today's figures, it also affects NHS capacity – but it remains important that anyone needing emergency care dials 999, and the public use 111 online and local pharmacies for other health issues and advice.”

1.7 million people were referred for treatment in May

Although these figures are worrying, 1.7 million people were referred for treatment in May – with over 1.4 million starting treatments.

On top of this, a record 2.1 million people were given diagnostic tests in May.

This shows that some positives are to be made despite the ever-evolving pressures on the NHS.

If you have suffered because of medical negligence or delays in treatment, First4Lawyers are here to help you when you need it the most. Just give us a call or start your claim online.


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