HEALTH bosses are set to be quizzed on the rising number of ambulances taking patients to the county’s A&E departments.
Chiefs at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust say unprecedented levels of emergency demand at their hospital sites could be partly blamed on West Midlands Ambulance Service.
The Trust saw a 14 per cent increase in patients being brought to emergency departments by ambulance compared to October last year.
The Alexandra Hospital saw a five per cent rise in ambulance conveyances, while the Worcestershire Royal site experienced a 21 per cent rise.
Overall emergency admissions were up by one per cent, but there was a drop in urgent referrals by GPs.
Stewart Messer, chief operating officer for the Trust, said data had been shared with the ambulance service to review the number of conveyances, while a joint meeting with the service, the Trust and clinical commissioning groups was being arranged.
An action plan and recovery plan had also been requested from the service.
He added the issue of demand was becoming a ‘well worn track’, with the Trust being the ‘jam that is getting squeezed in a sandwich.’
“There’s pressure in the front door and delays in the back door.” he added.
Prof Julian Bion said the Trust had to work with ambulance staff to give them the confidence to take patients to Minor Injury Units because they ‘seemed reluctant to do so’.
But a spokesman from West Midlands Ambulance Service said they had seen a continued increase in 999 calls which would impact on A&E admissions.
“In October 2014 we dealt with 10.5 per cent more incidents in Worcestershire compared to the previous October. We manage to treat and discharge nearly half our patients at the scene without taking them to A&E. Despite that, while demand continues to increase it is inevitable that it will also affect A&E.”