Potential heart attack and stroke victims in West Leicestershire waiting an average of 50 minutes for an ambulance to arrive, shocking new figures have revealed.
The data was obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the Liberal Democrats, who are calling for urgent action to tackle local ambulance delays.
The figures show that the NHS target of 1 8 minutes for Category 2 ambulance calls, which covers urgent incidents like strokes and potential heart attacks, is being badly missed in West Leicestershire
Ambulance delays have also significantly worsened in recent years, with the average response time increasing by over 40% for Category 2 calls since 2019.
The average response time for Category 1 calls, which are the most urgent and life-threatening, was 9 minutes up 9% since 2019.
Leicestershire Liberal Democrat County Councillor Michael Mullaney is backing the Liberal Democrat's five point plan to support local ambulance services, which would see a paramedic recruitment campaign and improvements in social care to reduce pressures on hospital beds.
Councillor Michael Mullaney said:
"Behind these figures are devastating stories of pensioners left stranded for hours, or families in Leicestershire watching a loved one die before a paramedic could reach them.
"Paramedics on the frontline do an incredible job day in day out, looking after people in their time of need. But our overstretched local NHS services are collapsing under the strain of years of neglect under this Conservative government.
"The Liberal Democrats have provided a clear plan to tackle these shocking delays and make sure ambulances reach people on time in an emergency. That means addressing workforce shortages, fixing the social care crisis and ending the shortage of hospital beds, all of which are leaving patients in ambulances stuck outside A&E for hours."
Ambulance Crisis - Liberal Democrat 5 Point Winter Plan
*Launch a campaign to retain, recruit and train paramedics and other ambulance service staff. Like all health and care services, it needs to be properly staffed.
*Bring forward a fully funded programme to get people who are medically well enough discharged from hospital and set up with appropriate social care and support. This will allow people to leave hospital sooner and make more space available for new arrivals.The Government's current attempt at this through the Adult Social Care Discharge Fund is not good enough, as the funds will come from existing NHS budgets putting even more pressure on other services. It will also not be deployed in full until January next year.
*In addition to getting people out of hospital so that they get care in a more comfortable setting, the number of beds in hospitals needs to be increased to end excessive handover delays for ambulances, caused by a lack of bed capacity. Any new beds must come with increases in staff to care for those extra patients.
*Expand mental health support services to get people the appropriate care they need and reduce the number of call outs for ambulances for mental health reasons. Learning from hospitals that have set up 'emergency mental health departments', will not only to get people more appropriate care but relieve pressure on A&Es and ambulances.
*Pass Daisy Cooper MP's Ambulance Waiting Times Bill into law that would require accessible, localised reports of ambulance response times to be published. This would ensure that 'hot spots' with some of the longest waiting times can be identified routinely. 12 hour waits at A&E should also be published from arrival at hospital rather than the 'decision to admit' as is current practice, so that the true scale of the problem is clear for all to see.
A Hinckley County Councillor has renewed calls for a safe road crossing to be installed near a Hinckley School.
Lib Dem Councillor for Hinckley De Montfort Michael Mullaney has campaigned with local parents, residents and fellow Hinckley Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray to get a safe crossing near St Peter’s School on London Road, Hinckley.
This follows news that Leicestershire County Council have again decided against putting a crossing there.
In a written submission to the County Council’s Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee Michael Mullaney set out why a crossing was still needed there
“A huge number of residents in the area I represent on the County Council and the area my two fellow Hinckley County Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray represent support a safe crossing at St Peter’s School on London Road in Hinckley. 8,850 residents signed a petition supporting the campaign.
“There are safety concerns, there have been a number of near misses involving pupils and parents going to the school. Although not recorded it is believed that there was an accident leading to a fatality some years ago along this part of London Road when a pedestrian was knocked over.
“Whilst I appreciate the extra road safety measures that are proposed for London Road near St Peter’s School I am extremely disappointed that the request for a safe road crossing has not been supported in the report.
“There is widespread support for it and Cllrs Bill, Bray and myself identified funding for putting a crossing in at the site through the Members Highway Fund, a fund which was developed with the apparent intention of supporting Highways causes that were important in Councillor’s local areas.
“Whilst it’s welcome that a crossing person has been recruited for St Peter’s School there is always the risk that the person may step down from the job and it may be difficult to find a new person (as it took some years to recruit a crossing person there, with no school crossing patrol between 2017 and 2022 despite attempts to recruit to the post). A safe pedestrian crossing at the site however would be a permanent safety measure that would benefit pupils and parents and residents more generally crossing the road there.
“Whilst I welcome the fact there will be some safety improvements at the site I and many residents believe there still needs to be a safe permanent crossing at St Peter’s School. I therefore urge the County Council to rethink and agree to installing a crossing near St Peter’s School”