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A day with the paramedics on the frontline of the UK’s ambulance crisis – podcast | News

Winter is at all times a troublesome time for the NHS – however this yr, the knock-on results of the pandemic imply that the limits on its capability could also be dangerously uncovered. New figures revealed on Thursday revealed {that a} document 5.8 million individuals are ready for hospital remedy, and that the proportion of A&E sufferers seen inside the NHS’s goal of 4 hours was the lowest since the present information started in January 2010. In the meantime, occupancy of wards has already hit its anticipated winter peak.

Nowhere are these issues extra apparent than in the ambulance service. A scarcity of beds for arriving sufferers signifies that paramedics who as soon as accomplished seven or eight jobs on a shift at the moment are compelled to attend in queues outdoors A&E items, “babysitting” their prices as an alternative of transferring on to new circumstances who typically look forward to hours earlier than they hear the siren that indicators assistance is at hand. Essentially the most pressing calls now wait a median of practically 54 minutes – up from 45 minutes in September. For much less pressing calls, the common is upwards of three hours – and it may be much longer. The School of Paramedics has known as the state of affairs “unacceptable”, saying “sufferers are ready too lengthy and that’s placing them in danger”.

To know how these grim figures play out on the floor, the Guardian’s Steven Morris went out on a shift in south Wales with Lee Davies, a paramedic, and Keith Rogers, an emergency medical technician (EMT). On this episode, Morris tells Nosheen Iqbal the story of that shift – and the sufferers saved ready for hours to get the healthcare they want. And we observe Davies and Rogers as they describe their frustration whereas attempting to get the job carried out in the most attempting of circumstances.

You possibly can learn Steven Morris’s October piece: “You possibly can queue for an entire shift”: the crisis going through Welsh ambulance crews, right here. And you’ll learn a narrative by Denis Campbell revealed on Thursday: NHS ambulance delays leaving sufferers caught at GP surgical procedures for hours, right here.



Paramedic Lee Davies (left) and technician Keith Rogers at Grange University Hospital near Pontypool.

{Photograph}: Adrian Sherratt/The Guardian

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