All ambulance services have declared the highest level of alert due to ‘extreme pressures’ facing the urgent and emergency care system.
One senior ambulance chief told HSJ that ambulance response times have dropped dramatically in the last few days, while A&E handover delays have surged. They said: “The wheels are falling off [the emergency care system] now, we’re in a really awful situation.”
They said ambulance leaders have major concerns about the planned strike action by nurses on Thursday, fearing this will exacerbate discharge delays and have a knock-on effect on ambulance handover problems.
It also comes ahead of strike action planned by ambulance staff for next week.
HSJ has seen internal communications which confirm all ten ambulance trusts in England are now in level four of their “resource escalation action plan”, which means they can seek assistance from other nearby trusts or services. However, this is more difficult when an entire sector is under pressure, as is the case currently.
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Source: HSJ, 13 December 2022