Ambulance handovers

The BBC has claimed that ambulances are facing delays when they take patients to hospital, and that some hospitals are taking longer than 15 minutes to take charge of patients in over half of cases.

In response, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:

“Everyone deserves to be seen quickly when they arrive at hospital, even more so when they arrive in an ambulance. That’s why we have changed the system and introduced new measures to ensure patients are seen quickly.

“These backlogs can sometimes be caused by a lack of available beds. That is why we are investing £450 million by 2013 to help people return home from hospital as quickly as possible, freeing up space for new patients.

“Hospitals need to ensure they have proper plans in place to deal with high demand and we are doing everything we can to support them in treating patients as swiftly as they can.”

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