UK: Ambulances stuck in traffic outside congested emergency departments

Overcrowded emergency rooms
British ambulances are stuck in traffic in front of the emergency services.

The British healthcare system is on the verge of collapse: as a result of Brexit, the shortage of doctors has increased enormously and millions of people are waiting for routine procedures. The overhead is also evident in outer queries. Around 10,000 ambulances line up every week.

Ambulance traffic jams in front of emergency departments in the UK are increasing. More than 10,000 ambulances wait at least an hour each week for patients to be seen, the BBC reports, citing its own assessments. This means that in mid-November the occupancy of every eighth ambulance was affected. It is the highest level since records began in 2010. The problems would greatly endanger the health of patients, according to British radio.

Britain’s NHS health service has been at breaking point for years and is chronically underfunded. In December, the workers want to strike for the first time in their history for two days to emphasize their demands for wage increases. The government recently announced additional billions for the service, but rejects wage increases as unaffordable. Millions of people in the UK are waiting for routine surgery.

Unlike health insurance companies in Germany, the NHS health service in Great Britain is not financed by contributions, but has to cover its costs from a budget set by the government. One of the Brexit promises was that the millions of euros from Brussels would go to the NHS.

As the BBC analysis shows, there are also significant problems with ambulances. The goal is for patients with heart attacks or strokes to be picked up by an ambulance within a maximum period of 18 minutes. But it actually takes more than 60 minutes on average. The central problem is the transfer to the emergency room: according to the rules, this should be done in 15 minutes, but in reality it takes a multiple of that time. Ambulance drivers also want to demand higher wages with strikes before Christmas.

(This article was first published on Thursday, December 1, 2022.)

Hayden Sherman

"Bacon nerd. Extreme zombie scholar. Hipster-friendly alcohol fanatic. Subtly charming problem solver. Introvert."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *