Trusts told to ‘immediately stop all ambulance handover delays’

NHS England and Improvement has told the trusts and integrated care systems are being told by NHS England and Improvement to take urgent action to ‘immediately stop all delays’ to ambulance handovers; this is likely to require ‘difficult choices’.

The instructions was outlined in a letter from NHS England’s medical director, director for emergency and elective care, and its regional directors and was sent to all local chief executives and chairs.

It also says they should discuss the issue of ambulance handovers at every board meeting they hold, warns that “corridor care” is “unacceptable as a solution”, and says ambulances should not be used as “additional ED cubicles”.

The move comes amid signs of large numbers of very long handover delays, and concern about the risk to patients from this and the knock-on damage to ambulance response times.

Full story in The HSJ, 27 October 2021