It may be unseasonably mild out there, but it would appear that winter is starting to show signs of living up to its recent reputation where fleets of emergency ambulances are parked up outside of A&Es up-and-down the country waiting to hand their patients over.
The featured image used in this article was sent into us by one of our followers who wanted to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
With the photo, was the caption: “Winter.Is.Here”.
The fleet of ambulances in the image which was parked outside of the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading on Monday 14th January will be a
The question that sticks out in my own mind, is: ‘I wonder how many of these patients could have made their own way to A&E?’.
We here far too account about patients who have called 999 or 111 simply because they want a ‘free ride’ to A&E or because they think that by calling an ambulance, then they will get seen quicker.
Our source told us:
“We were keeping patients on vehicles for 45 mins to an hour before being allowed to offload.
“Crews on the late shift were driving RRVs [Rapid Response Vehicles] to the hospital and taking over vehicles and patients from the crews that were past their finish time”.
We haven’t heard of crews having to relieve their colleagues by driving to their crew mates ambulances before.
That’s not to say that such a situation has not previously happened, but it is a rather worrying sign.
Whilst reports from our colleagues on the front line appear to indicate that winter 2019 is not as bad as winter 2018, we need to keep in mind that the really cold weather has not set in yet.
Reports from the Met Office suggest that the cold weather could soon be upon us.
But, by the look of it, the ambulance service and NHS are already starting to feel the strain.
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