Ambulance waiting times show that moving A&E further away would be disaster - MP

December 14, 2021 2:16 PM
Originally published by Tim Farron

Local MP Tim Farron says that plans to close Lancaster's A&E and move it further away from the South Lakes would be a disaster after new figures revealed that 53 patients were stuck for more than an hour in ambulances outside local A&Es in the first week of December alone.

New official figures published in the last few days reveal that ambulance response times to emergency 999 calls are missing government pledges in the North West.

In November, the average response time for Category 2 calls (emergency calls involving a serious condition that may require rapid assessment and/or urgent transport, such as a stroke or chest pain) was 48 minutes and 56 seconds - more than double the 18-minute target.

Meanwhile, 171 patients in the Morecambe Bay Hospitals Trust area spent more than 30 minutes waiting to be handed over from an ambulance to A&E in the week beginning November 29th - 53 of them were waiting for more than an hour.

The findings come a month after the Liberal Democrats secured confirmation from the Government that North West Ambulance Service is now at REAP Level 4 - the highest alert level, indicating "extreme pressure" - along with all other ambulance trusts in England. Both the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives and the College of Paramedics have warned that delays are causing patients harm and putting them at risk.

Tim said: "People in the South Lakes are watching loved ones in agony and distress, waiting hours for an ambulance or stuck in the back of one outside our local hospitals. This is heartbreaking and it cannot go on.

"Paramedics and ambulance technicians are working tirelessly to save lives but the Government isn't giving them the resources they need.

"And now to add insult to injury, health bosses are trying to move our A&E even further away, with ambulance waiting times set to be even longer as a result.

"We need to send out the loudest and clearest possible message that this would be a disaster - please sign our petition today if you haven't already."

Tim's petition can be signed here.