NHS delays. Last year, about 8,000 people faced harm and 112 lost their lives due to crazy long waits for an ambulance or surgery. This is causing a major fuss, with warnings flying around that NHS delays are turning into a real disaster.
Among these were some heartbreaking stories. There this man who waited 18 minutes for an ambulance after calling 999 for a heart issue. Sadly, he passed away by the time help arrived.
The stats from NHS England show a scary trend. Deaths caused by care delays shot up more than five times in the last three years, going from 21 in 2019 to 112 last year. The number of people facing severe harm went from 96 to 152 in that same time frame.
A Human Crisis
Rachel Power from the Patients Association is sounding the alarm bells. She’s saying this mess in the NHS is a full-blown disaster for patient safety.
The Impact of Shortfalls
Because of a big financial no-go from the government, hospital are doing fewer planned surgeries. Power’s worried this means more people will wait for care and possibly get hurt in the process.
Who’s Getting Hit the Hardest?
The numbers show that patients waiting for adult mental health care faced the most harm last year, with 471 people affected. This follow by those waiting for childbirth care (253), eye treatments (221), and trauma/general surgery (207).
The Guardian got details about 30 deaths from last year. One incident highlighted a long wait for a critical call to be answered, leading to a patient dying from a cardiac arrest before help arrived. This kind of situation is super urgent and needs quick response times—within seven minutes.
More Heartbreaking Cases
There’s another story about someone starting chemotherapy but not getting the right treatment for hepatitis B. Because of this, they ended up with a severe form of hepatitis B and passed away.
Unveiling the Truth
The figures come from a database where NHS staff log in if they think a patient has received poor care. But getting these stats wasn’t easy. The Guardian had to push for them through a freedom of information request, and even the information commissioner had to step in.
Healthwatch, the patient champion, points out that when people face long waits for care, it feels like they’ve been forgotten. They’ve heard stories of people getting kicked off waiting lists without even knowing why.
Action against Medical Accidents, a patient safety charity, is deeply troubled by the massive increase in reported incidents of patient harm and death. It matches what they hear every day from patients who are going through tough times.
The numbers from NHS England might just be the tip of the iceberg. A&E doctors think about 500 people a week might be dying because of delays in ambulance response, A&E care, or getting specialized treatment.
The NHS is trying to gear up for a tough winter. They’ve got more ambulances and virtual ward beds rolling out. They say they’re on it, working hard to tackle the delays.
Critical Moments Ignored
Liberal Democrats found that some heart attack and stroke patients are waiting over 90 minutes for an ambulance when it should be just 18 minutes. These minutes matter, and it’s tough seeing these delays getting worse.
It’s a tough situation. Patients are waiting too long, facing serious harm, and even losing their lives because help isn’t getting there fast enough. Fixing this isn’t just about numbers; it’s about saving lives.