'NHS is under unprecedented pressure' - Sheffield man dies after waiting two hours and 40 minutes for an ambulance

A Sheffield man died after waiting two hours and 40 minutes for an ambulance.

Monday, 9th January 2017, 2:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 7:41 am
Ms Haigh said the public and 'brilliant and dedicated' paramedics are being let down by the Government

The man, aged 79, passed away in November after initially complaining of chest pains. The 999 call was logged as 'code yellow' meaning the incident was a 'potentially serious condition'.

Under response time guidelines, the ambulance should've arrived within 40 minutes but sadly the man had passed away by the time paramedics attended the scene.

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Sheffield MP Louise Haigh, who represented the constituent, said the NHS at present is under 'unprecedented pressure' and has today in Parliament called for the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to make urgent funding available to avert a 'winter crisis'.

New figures show the number of patients waiting for ambulances for more than an hour had almost tripled in the past two years, and that ambulance crews were wasting more than 500,000 hours queuing outside hospitals.

In Sheffield, the figures show just 67 per cent of of 'category 1 red calls' were answered within eight minutes and emergency response times for Yorkshire are at an 'all-time low'.

Ms Haigh MP said: “This tragedy is utterly devastating for the family and there are serious questions for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service. But our dedicated and brilliant paramedics are working all the hours they can to provide a good service, yet both they and the public are being let down by a system in crisis.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh

“The Government promised that the NHS was safe in their hands but we are seeing a funding and community care crisis, made in Downing Street, which is leaving our A&Es under unprecedented pressure as demand reaches record levels. Rather than fiddling the figures, the Government must provide the funding they promised to the NHS urgently.

“That in twenty-first century Britain the Red Cross have been called in to help plug the gaps should be a mark of shame on this Government. They absolutely have to act before there are any more tragedies.”

Responding to Ms Haigh in Parliament, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: :"Of course, what happened in that situation was totally unacceptable but I think she makes a mistake to continually bring this back to funding.

"If you look at also the demand pressures of the models of care and in the case of the ambulance services, just to reassure her of the extra funding that's gone in, we have around 200 more ambulances, around 2000 more paramedics and the ambulance services everyday is doing 3,400 blue light calls more than it was doing six years ago so there has been significant investment but clearly, more needs to happen."

Yorkshire Ambulance Service spokesman said: "With reference to the concerns raised by Louise Haigh MP regarding her constituent, we can confirm that the Trust is aware of the incident and is liaising directly with the patient’s family.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh