AACE report on hospital handover delays: Statement from Jason Killens, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance

STATEMENT from the Trust's Chief Executive in response to the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) report on the impact of delayed hospital handovers –

Jason Killens, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “Despite ongoing efforts over the years, hospital handover delays remain a serious and long-standing issue which is affecting ambulance services across the UK, including here in Wales.

“The AACE report makes for very sombre reading, but this is the reality of what we and our counterparts are facing as a result of significant and sustained pressures across the entire health and social care system.

“Ambulance crews know better than anyone the impact that delayed handover has on a patient’s experience because they spend many hours – sometimes an entire shift – with the same patient on the back of a vehicle before they are accepted into the care of the hospital.

“It’s as distressing for our crews as it is for the patient and their loved ones, especially when there are other patients in the community who need our help and we can’t get to them.

“Our role as an emergency ambulance service is to deliver immediate and life-saving interventions and to take patients promptly to hospital for treatment – being available in the community to respond to people is therefore essential.

“The focus of all of us in the NHS is on patient safety, whether that’s patients on the back of an ambulance outside the Emergency Department or patients in the community where arguably, the risk to their safety is greater because they don’t have an expert clinician by their side.

“For the Welsh Ambulance Service, this is about getting to the root cause of complex systemic issues in order to resolve them, rather than adapting to a situation so that it becomes the new normal.

“We welcome the AACE report for shining a light on this issue, and continue to work with health board colleagues and Welsh Government to make improvements and effect change.”

AACE delayed hospital handovers: Impact assessment of patient harm
AACE delayed hospital handovers: Data for Welsh Ambulance Service

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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