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Big surge in the most serious ambulance calls

Performance data published by NHS England has revealed a big surge in the number of immediately life-threatening incidents ambulance services have responded to.

The data also showed average response times have increased and a large number of patients are attending emergency departments. So far, the reason for the increase remains unclear, however, a potential factor could be the return of respiratory illnesses, particularly in children, as the lockdown has eased. 

In a statement Association of Ambulance Chief Executives said, ”The reasons for the demand increases are complex and will include some patients who have not accessed care as early as they might have done normally and therefore present to the ambulance service as a high acuity patient and many patients who are contacting us for lower acuity issues which in some cases could have been managed by accessing other parts of the UEC system. We continue to work closely with NHS England to mitigate the demand as much as possible and encourage sign-posting of patients to other parts of the UEC system when that is a safe and more appropriate solution to their problem.”

Read full story (paywalled).

Source: HSJ, 12 August 2021


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