Liz Truss vows to tackle ‘appalling’ ambulance delays and free up hospital beds

Liz Truss vows to tackle ‘appalling’ ambulance delays and free up hospital beds under plan of action if she becomes the next Prime Minister

  • Tory leadership favourite made the pledge as part of plan of action
  • Heart attack and stroke patients wait average of 51 minutes for ambulance 
  • Ambulance fleets then get stuck in queues outside A&E units
  • Miss Truss promised to deal with the issues if she becomes UK PM  

Liz Truss has vowed to tackle ‘appalling’ delays that mean patients are being left for hours in ambulances outside overcrowded A&E departments.

The Tory leadership favourite is promising to free up hospital beds as part of a plan of action if she becomes prime minister.

Heart attack and stroke patients now wait on average 51 minutes for an ambulance in England against a target of 18 minutes.

Entire ambulance fleets are then getting stuck in queues outside overwhelmed A&E units that do not have space to admit new patients, meaning paramedics cannot get back on the road.

In an interview with The Mail+, Miss Truss said she had heard ‘appalling’ stories on the campaign trail about the delays people are facing. As a YouGov poll of Tory members gave Miss Truss a 34-point lead over rival Rishi Sunak, she pledged: ‘First of all, we need to do more to support primary care so that more issues are dealt with in GP surgeries to free up space in hospital as well as investing in social care, again, to free up space in hospital.

Liz Truss has vowed to tackle 'appalling' delays that mean patients are being left for hours in ambulances outside overcrowded A&E departments. The Tory leadership favourite is promising to free up hospital beds as part of a plan of action if she becomes prime minister

Liz Truss has vowed to tackle ‘appalling’ delays that mean patients are being left for hours in ambulances outside overcrowded A&E departments. The Tory leadership favourite is promising to free up hospital beds as part of a plan of action if she becomes prime minister

‘But one of the things that concerns me about ambulance waiting times is they are based on the average, not the worst-case scenario and some people have to wait for ages.

‘So what I want to look at is making sure that we’re ensuring people don’t have to wait very long times. And that is about focusing on delivery, cutting out bureaucracy, cutting out central diktat to allow people to do the really important frontline work.’

The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, which is carrying out a review of ambulance waiting times, has warned the current situation is ‘causing life-threatening harm to patients’.

Meanwhile so-called ‘handover delays’ reached record levels in recent months. Figures from the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives show the average time for a patient handover in April was 36 minutes – more than double the 17 minutes recorded a year earlier and well above the target of 15. A staggering 11,000 handovers took more than three hours, with the longest delay being 24 hours.

The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, which is carrying out a review of ambulance waiting times, has warned the current situation is 'causing life-threatening harm to patients'

The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, which is carrying out a review of ambulance waiting times, has warned the current situation is ‘causing life-threatening harm to patients’

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