50 patients left waiting in ambulances outside A&E for more than an hour - in just one month

The Bolton News: 50 patients left waiting in ambulances outside A&E for more than an hour - in just one month 50 patients left waiting in ambulances outside A&E for more than an hour - in just one month

FIFTY patients were left waiting in ambulances outside the Royal Bolton Hospital’s A&E department for more than an hour during just one month, figures have revealed.

And a further 175 people were waiting with paramedics for more than 30 minutes before they were taken from the ambulance and into treatment at the hospital.

The figures were recorded in April.

Patients should be admitted to hospital within 15 minutes of an ambulance arriving at A&E, according to national guidelines — which also state nobody should be waiting more than 30 minutes before they are seen by hospital staff.

Barry Silvert, clinical director of commissioning at Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, called on NHS England to implement fines on the North West Ambulance Service if they breach the 30-minute target.

He said: “We do seem to have an ongoing issue — a lot of discussions have taken place with the ambulance service and with the hospital trust to see what improvements could be made to try to make this process work more efficiently.

“There are two different ends to this issue. The ambulance service still doesn’t seem to understand it’s not a good idea to take an ambulance to a hospital when there are other hospitals around.

"Their argument for patient choice is something I take issue with.

“The other end of it is infrastructure within the hospital trust. When the handover takes place it needs to be appropriate from both ends, to make it work more efficiently.”

A spokesman from the North West Ambulance Service said staff constantly monitor the ambulance activity across all emergency departments in Greater Manchester.

He added: “It used to be that we took all patients to the nearest A&E, but with more specialist units now available, we now take patients to the hospital which best suits their clinical need — although in some cases in might be more appropriate to take to the nearest appropriate unit to stabilise a patient.

“In low level cases, we would take to the nearest A&E, and an alternative would be considered if the patient has explicitly expressed a desire to go elsewhere.

“Patients do have a right to choose where they receive treatment and we would have to respect that. However, in the majority of cases, we take patients to the most appropriate receiving unit that can treat their injury or illness.”

Heather Edwards, head of communications at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said improvements to the capacity and layout of the emergency department were needed to help reduce waiting times for patients.

She added: “There are a number of reasons why we are so busy, including our easily accessible site, and patients coming here who need not have come to hospital.

“Sometimes our staff can’t immediately take over the care of a patient newly arrived by ambulance and NWAS staff must stay with them for a while until A&E staff are able to do so safely.

“We recognise that we need to reduce these occasions and will be working with NWAS on this.”

The Royal Bolton Hospital is currently vying to be chosen as one of Greater Manchester’s “super hospitals” under the Healthier Together plans.

Health chiefs — who say the restructure could save up to 1,000 lives every five years — have already earmarked Salford, Oldham and Central Manchester as specialist centres.

The Royal Bolton has been shortlisted alongside Wigan, Stockport and Wythenshawe to become one of up to two other specialist hospitals in the region.

Bosses at the Royal Bolton are proposing to invest heavily in the A&E department, as well as maternity, children and obstetrics.

If the hospital does not become a “super hospital” it will still have an A&E department.

To complete the Healthier Together consultation questionnaire, visit healthiertogethergm.nhs.uk.

A “listening event” is being held in Bolton about the Healthier Together plans from noon until 2.30pm on Friday at the town’s Holiday Inn.

Comments (8)

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1:00pm Wed 16 Jul 14

cliff4treasurer says...

Fine the ambulance service as the A&E are so full they can't get in?
Why is this the fault of the ambulance service?
Fine the ambulance service as the A&E are so full they can't get in? Why is this the fault of the ambulance service? cliff4treasurer
  • Score: 14

1:06pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Smeagol says...

When services go wrong like this, there are many reasons, and fining an already financially-struggli
ng service is unlikely to make the situation any better. People generally go into caring professions because they really do want to provide good care. When they don't provide it, it's usually because obstacles have prevented them, not because they are lazy or selfish or can't be bothered. This is clearly a problem, and it needs a well thought out, and appropriately resourced solution.
When services go wrong like this, there are many reasons, and fining an already financially-struggli ng service is unlikely to make the situation any better. People generally go into caring professions because they really do want to provide good care. When they don't provide it, it's usually because obstacles have prevented them, not because they are lazy or selfish or can't be bothered. This is clearly a problem, and it needs a well thought out, and appropriately resourced solution. Smeagol
  • Score: 12

1:56pm Wed 16 Jul 14

stylish says...

it's not rocket science here what the problem is there are so many people living in this country now that the N.H.S just cannot cope with the amount of people trying to use its service, the A/E department is running at over full capacity all the time and ambulances are back logged to try to hand over their patients , these people who work on front line services aren't miracle workers and I would think most if not all A/E departments in this country are in the same situation, as for going to the nearest A/E department ,this should be mandatory unless there are acute medical reasons for not doing this.
it's not rocket science here what the problem is there are so many people living in this country now that the N.H.S just cannot cope with the amount of people trying to use its service, the A/E department is running at over full capacity all the time and ambulances are back logged to try to hand over their patients , these people who work on front line services aren't miracle workers and I would think most if not all A/E departments in this country are in the same situation, as for going to the nearest A/E department ,this should be mandatory unless there are acute medical reasons for not doing this. stylish
  • Score: 6

3:04pm Wed 16 Jul 14

the need for austerity is a myth says...

stylish wrote:
it's not rocket science here what the problem is there are so many people living in this country now that the N.H.S just cannot cope with the amount of people trying to use its service, the A/E department is running at over full capacity all the time and ambulances are back logged to try to hand over their patients , these people who work on front line services aren't miracle workers and I would think most if not all A/E departments in this country are in the same situation, as for going to the nearest A/E department ,this should be mandatory unless there are acute medical reasons for not doing this.
Here we go again. There's a problem so let's ignore the evidence and just blame the immigrants instead. Let's not mention all the hospital closures or all the ward closures that have happened over the last few decades. Let's bury our heads in the sand an pretend there are no more closures actively planned for the near future. Let's not worry about the wholesale privatisation of the NHS diverting public money to shareholders' pockets. Let's just bash the immigrants again because it's far easier than facing the facts and addressing the real problems.
[quote][p][bold]stylish[/bold] wrote: it's not rocket science here what the problem is there are so many people living in this country now that the N.H.S just cannot cope with the amount of people trying to use its service, the A/E department is running at over full capacity all the time and ambulances are back logged to try to hand over their patients , these people who work on front line services aren't miracle workers and I would think most if not all A/E departments in this country are in the same situation, as for going to the nearest A/E department ,this should be mandatory unless there are acute medical reasons for not doing this.[/p][/quote]Here we go again. There's a problem so let's ignore the evidence and just blame the immigrants instead. Let's not mention all the hospital closures or all the ward closures that have happened over the last few decades. Let's bury our heads in the sand an pretend there are no more closures actively planned for the near future. Let's not worry about the wholesale privatisation of the NHS diverting public money to shareholders' pockets. Let's just bash the immigrants again because it's far easier than facing the facts and addressing the real problems. the need for austerity is a myth
  • Score: -4

3:24pm Wed 16 Jul 14

naomimum1 says...

hi i was reading this this morning and i noticed you put AT in the paper
hi i was reading this this morning and i noticed you put AT in the paper naomimum1
  • Score: 1

4:54pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Hotpot1 says...

A & E is for accidents and emergencies - people expectations of what an ambulance is for and wot the department is used for differ greatly.... I'm sure some of the patients in those ambulances could easily have seen their GP - yes before anyone starts slating the fact they can't get an appointment to see their GP they can if they ring and explain as every GP has a duty of care and ALL GPs have emergency appointments to see acutely ill patients. It would open up a lot of people's eyes if they were to work in either the ambulance service or a&e dept just what the general public turn up at a&e with!
( one very fed up caring NHS worker who would like more Indians and less chiefs)
A & E is for accidents and emergencies - people expectations of what an ambulance is for and wot the department is used for differ greatly.... I'm sure some of the patients in those ambulances could easily have seen their GP - yes before anyone starts slating the fact they can't get an appointment to see their GP they can if they ring and explain as every GP has a duty of care and ALL GPs have emergency appointments to see acutely ill patients. It would open up a lot of people's eyes if they were to work in either the ambulance service or a&e dept just what the general public turn up at a&e with! ( one very fed up caring NHS worker who would like more Indians and less chiefs) Hotpot1
  • Score: 7

5:45pm Wed 16 Jul 14

FloresOak says...

Barry Silvert of Bolton CCG - how will fining the ambulance service help? Perhaps the hospital should be fined for keeping ambulances off the road and unable to help people out there who are seriously ill. Ridiculous!
Barry Silvert of Bolton CCG - how will fining the ambulance service help? Perhaps the hospital should be fined for keeping ambulances off the road and unable to help people out there who are seriously ill. Ridiculous! FloresOak
  • Score: 2

8:46pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Save our Health services says...

Healthier Together is proposing reducing the number of acute specialist centres to 5 across Greater Manchester. The Trusts can't cope as it is - how on Earth can we reduce further. A recent study showed that the British NHS is one of the most cost efficient and effective in the world. there is no justification for further cuts.
We need to keep all our specialist centres open!
Healthier Together is proposing reducing the number of acute specialist centres to 5 across Greater Manchester. The Trusts can't cope as it is - how on Earth can we reduce further. A recent study showed that the British NHS is one of the most cost efficient and effective in the world. there is no justification for further cuts. We need to keep all our specialist centres open! Save our Health services
  • Score: 1
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