Patients in Calderdale forced to wait more than 30 minutes in ambulances outside hospital

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Patients with chest pains, breathing problems and some who were unconscious have had to wait more than half-an-hour before being transferred from ambulances to Calderdale Royal Hospital over the last 18 months.

Figures show 200 people had handover times of more than 30 minutes between January 2013 and July this year, while eight of those patients were forced to wait more than an hour to be transferred.

Complaints of those forced to wait included a suicide attempt, five people experiencing convulsions or fitting, four with haemorrhages or lacerations and three with an overdose or poisoning.

There were also two patients with heart or lung problems, 13 who had fallen or sustained traumatic back injuries and 10 who had been sent on the advice of another health care professional.,

Figures also show just under half the patients having to wait to be admitted were over 65.

There were more than 1,000 patients at Calderdale Royal per month between January 2013 and July this year who had a delay in being transferred.

But these only accounted for one per cent or less of the total number of patients at the hospital.

Clinical lead for A&E, consultant Mark Davies, said: “We are working closely with YAS colleagues to improve handover times to ensure the best care for our patients and this includes their journeys into hospital for their care.

“We have 50 handovers a day and try our very best to ensure they are both timely and smooth.

“The numbers of our over 65 patients is in line with national demand.

Dr David Macklin, Deputy Medical Director at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said:“Effective handovers from the ambulance service to hospital emergency departments are an integral part of delivering the best clinical care for patients and we work together closely to monitor ambulance turnaround times.

“During times of high demand hospitals may experience busy periods which, understandably, can result in delays.

“A ‘Turnaround Collaborative’ is now well established in Yorkshire and the Humber to develop and deliver processes that are already helping to improve the clinical handover of patients and turnaround performance.

“This is working well across the region and this includes our colleagues at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

“It is through this collaborative whole-system approach that together we will continue to minimise and avoid delays in the future.”