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Ambulances ‘lose’ 55,000 hours in one week during handover delays


Hours lost to ambulance handover delays, and the numbers of ambulances waiting more than an hour outside hospitals hit new highs in the week after Christmas.

Data published this morning by NHS England revealed nearly 55,000 hours were lost to delays between 26 December and 1 January and 18,720 ambulances had to wait more than an hour to handover patients as emergency departments struggled, with many trusts declaring critical incidents.

The number of hour-plus delays followed previous years’ trend of a slight dip in the week leading up to Christmas followed by an acceleration afterwards. However, levels this year were more than twice those seen in 2021 and three times those of the previous two years.

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Source: HSJ, 6 January 2023

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