London ambulance handover waiting times to A&E 'rising'

Generic ambulance
Image caption Jamie Reed claimed in some cases patients waited about three hours

The number of ambulances in London waiting more than 30 minutes from arriving at hospital to handing over patients has gone up about 66% in the last year, Labour has claimed.

Shadow health minister Jamie Reed revealed the figure, from a Freedom of Information request, in the Commons.

He said ambulances were missing their targets "in responding to the most serious life-threatening callouts".

Health minister Daniel Poulter said the situation was unacceptable.

'Wait going up'

Speaking during Commons health questions, Mr Reed said: "The performance of A&E services clearly have an obvious and acute effect upon the performance of ambulance services.

"... The average length of time patients wait in ambulances before accessing A&E is going up and in some cases patients are waiting almost three hours.

"The CQC [Care Quality Commission] says the London Ambulance Trust... 'does not have enough staff to keep people safe'.

Dr Poulter said: "... There are unacceptable variations in the quality of triage and handover between ambulance services and hospitals that exist not just in London, but in other parts of the country."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites