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Ambulance waits of 40 hours as NHS delays worsen

More than 11,000 ambulances a week are caught in queues of at least an hour outside A&E units in England, a BBC News analysis shows.

The total - the highest since records began, in 2010 - means one in seven crews faced delays on this scale by late November.

Paramedics warned the problems were causing patients severe harm.

One family told BBC News an 85-year-old woman with a broken hip had waited 40 hours before a hospital admission.

She waited an "agonising" 14 hours for the ambulance to arrive and then 26 in the ambulance outside hospital.

When finally admitted, to the Royal Cornwall Hospital, which has apologised for her care, she had surgery.

Both ambulance response times and A&E waits have hit their worst levels on record in all parts of the UK in recent months.

In Cornwall, patients facing emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes are now waiting more than two hours on average for an ambulance. The target is 18 minutes.

They are thought to be among the worst delays in the country but none of England's ambulance services is close to the target, while Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are all missing their targets.

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Source: BBC News, 1 December 2022


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