Cost Pressures in the NHS cause Ambulances to Wait for a Half Hour or more to Unload their Patients at a Hospital

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 18th, 2012

Week in Review

National health care is very expensive.  And it’s more expensive if your population is aging.  Which the British population began doing after the inception of the National Health Service (NHS).  So fewer people were paying for more people as time went on.  Making it very difficult to provide health care for everyone.  As the population aged further the British had to ration service.  And increase wait times.  As the cost pressures of an aging population weighed heavily on the NHS.  Struggling under these cost pressures, the NHS had no choice but to make massive budget costs through increased efficiencies.  Looking for some £20 billion ($31.8 billion) in savings.  How has that worked?  It’s turning police cars intro ambulances (see Shocking state of the NHS: Half a million patients forced to wait 30 minutes on trolleys before admission to A&E by Jo Macfarlane and Brendan Carlin posted 11/17/2012 on the Daily Mail).

The number of seriously ill patients forced to wait more than half an hour on trolleys and in ambulances before being admitted to accident and emergency has rocketed by up to 300 per cent in just 12 months.

Figures uncovered in an investigation by The Mail on Sunday reveal mounting delays for 999 patients at hospitals across the country as casualty units struggle to cope with Government cuts and the closure and downgrading of other A&E wards.

Nearly half a million patients brought into casualty by ambulance last year were left for half an hour or more in vehicles or in corridors before they were officially admitted.

Several hundred waited longer than two hours. Guidelines state that patients should be handed over to A&E staff within 15 minutes of arrival at a hospital…

Most trusts said the number of patients waiting more than 30 minutes had soared by an average of  25 per cent in the past year.

But in the North East the numbers increased by 294 per cent, and in London by nearly 50 per cent…

‘The long waits are bad news for patients and for ambulance crews who are stuck outside hospitals where they are unavailable for new emergency calls.

‘The Government needs to think about the consequences of their demand for £20 billion in so-called efficiency savings from the NHS because the result is clear – patients are suffering.’

In London, one of the worst affected areas, campaigners are warning that the situation will get worse if proposals to close eight A&Es are approved, sending patients to already-struggling departments elsewhere. The London Ambulance Service revealed that 42,248  patients waited outside hospitals for longer than 30 minutes during 2011/12 – a rise of 47 per cent in 12 months – and 10,053 waited more than 45 minutes.

With ambulances stuck at hospitals for 30 minutes or more to unload their patients the police have been picking up the slack.  Some transporting people after waiting for an ambulance that never arrived.  Or being called upon to respond in the place of an ambulance.  Because all ambulances were parked at some hospital with a patient in back waiting for admission into an A/E department.

So this is the ultimate future of national health care.  Budget cuts, rationing and long waiting times.  And ambulances parked at hospitals with patients in back waiting for a half hour or more for admission.  This is what Obamacare will give us.  Or whatever Obamacare will evolve into.  For when it comes to national health care few can do it as well as the British.  So if the masters of national health care are having such difficulties so will some new young upstart when they enter the world of national health care.  Who also has an aging population.  So if you think things are bad now remember these times well.  For they will soon be known as the good old days.

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