12th July 2022
North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan has warned that ambulance and A&E care is moving from “crisis to calamity” as hospital handover delays reach their worst ever levels.
West Midlands Ambulance Service and the nine other ambulance trusts in England are reported to be in critical incidents and have moved to the highest possible alert level this week due to the extreme pressure they are facing. One patient in the region waited more than 24 hours in an ambulance waiting to be handed over on Monday.
As a result, Helen Morgan has written to the Health Secretary asking him to confirm the critical incidents and to query what action is being taken to address this dire situation.
Helen Morgan MP said: “The health service in Shropshire has been at crisis level for more than a year and now the situation with ambulances is moving from crisis to calamity.
“It is July, a time when pressure on the health service should be comparatively low, and yet every ambulance trust is at its highest ever alert level. This was also the case last winter but since then the situation has got consistently worse and it is terrifying to imagine how bad the upcoming winter will be if this trend continues.
“The Government rapidly needs to start taking this seriously and deploying additional resources to stop patients needlessly dying.
“West Midlands Ambulance Service moved its risk level for hospital handover delays to the highest possible level for the first time ever back in October and yet somehow the Conservatives have allowed the situation to get worse.
“While the Tories squabble over who their next leader will be, paramedics, doctors and nurses are working overtime in horrible conditions to try and keep people alive.”
The Lib Dem MP has also raised fears over patients suffering in dangerously hot temperatures in the back of ambulances stuck waiting outside hospitals in Shropshire and across the country.
More than half of WMAS ambulance crews were reported to be queueing outside hospitals on Monday and around a third were waiting more than an hour to handover patients to emergency departments, the Health Service Journal reported.