A spike in Covid absences and the extended heatwave have left NHS hospitals and ambulance services struggling to cope. The hot weather is also driving more patients to A&E departments, and callers are being urged not to use 999 except in serious emergencies.
All 10 ambulance trusts in England are on black alert, the highest level, while health leaders warn that “ill-equipped” hospital buildings are struggling to store medicines correctly amid the abnormally high temperatures.
Martin Flaherty, managing director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, said: “The NHS ambulance sector is under intense pressure, with all ambulance services operating at the highest level of four within their local resource escalation action plans, normally only ever reserved for major incidents or short-term periods of unusual demand.
“Severe delays in ambulance crews being able to hand over their patients at many hospital emergency departments are having a very significant impact on the ambulance sector’s ability to respond to patients as quickly as we would like to, because our crews and vehicles are stuck outside those hospitals.”
Full story in The Independent, 14 July 2022