Medical Negligence

Ambulance Service in Crisis – 999: A National Emergency? Tonight

November 3, 2022
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Written by Saima Mazhar, Partner & Head of Clinical Negligence

ITV’s ‘Tonight Programme’ is looking into the current crisis the NHS is facing, which is causing dangerous delays for ambulance crews. The programme, which spent two days filming with the North West Ambulance Service, investigates how delayed ambulances and overcrowded A & E’s are linked to thousands of deaths.

It is reported that across the country, ambulance delays are at a record high, with patients suffering from a stroke or heart attack waiting hours for assistance, when they should be reached within 18 minutes.

In an exclusive survey for the ‘Tonight Programme’, 85% of ambulance staff reportedly “witnessed delays which have seriously affected a patient’s recovery”, with 35% reporting that they “believed they had been involved in cases where delays contributed to a patient’s death”.

In response to the programme, the Department of Health said: “We absolutely recognise the pressures ambulance services are facing … The NHS is providing support to the most challenged hospitals, to free up A&E and ambulance crews, so we can get patients seen quickly and ambulances back on the road.”

999: A National Emergency? Tonight is on ITV tonight, Thursday 28th July 2022 at 8.30pm.

If you, or someone you love, have suffered medical complications because of ambulance or A & E delays, speak to us today for free legal advice on 0330 013 0251.


By Sophie McGarry, Litigation Executive, Medical Negligence

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