UK ambulance service spends 5 million pounds hiring private firms

Please note: this article is from 2015. There is a more-recent article about London Ambulance Service, which you can read here.

The UK is the place to find work as a paramedic. In a recent post, we reported on how Australian paramedics were being sought after by UK ambulance services to fill the shortfall.

Over 200 paramedics from all over Australia headed to the UK to take up their respective roles. The diverse array of locations across the UK gave each and every paramedic a new range of experiences to add to their list of achievements.

Yet, it still seems like the UK is having even more issues with their medical system.

We were contacted about how 10 ambulance services across the country were looking to spend £5 million hiring private firms to take care of the ‘over-spill’. It seems UK paramedics are being forced to queue outside A&E departments across England for more than 42,000 hours in just four weeks.

The UK’s National Health Service ambulances lined up outside A&E departments waiting to offload sick patients for a staggering 42,726 hours (the equivalent of 1,780 days) in the last two weeks of December 2014 and the first two weeks of January 2015.

Ambulances parked outside hospitals that were too full to admit patients, meaning they couldn’t return to the road to answer further emergency calls.

As a result of the unprecedented delays, services were forced to spend £3.79 million on private ambulances to respond to calls.

A recent report said 10 ambulance services indicated their ambulances were left waiting for over an hour to hand over patients on 11,203 occasions, while delays of more than half an hour occurred 39,523 times.

The unprecedented pressure caused ambulance bosses to spend £3.79 million on employing private ambulances and crews to respond to calls, to help them cope with the delays.

Another £1.23 million was also spent on charity-run, voluntary ambulances, including Red Cross teams and  St John Ambulances.

The NHS said more cash has been put aside (£48 million) for ambulance trusts to help ease the pressure.

Read the full article UK winter crisis unfolds as paramedics wait 1000’s of hours outside hospitals

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