'So where is the Health Secretary?': Iain Dale gives take on 'not acceptable' ambulance wait times

1 December 2022, 21:14

'So where is the Health Secretary?': Iain Dale gives take on 'not acceptable' ambulance wait times

By Sam Sholli

Iain Dale has asked where the Health Secretary is as he took aim at "not acceptable" ambulance wait times.

Iain gave his take as NHS data has shown there are areas in the country in which half of patients are waiting 30 minutes or more in ambulances outside of hospitals.

In the East of England, 49.5% of ambulances were delayed outside for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, 48.6% were delayed in the South West.

Last week, throughout the whole of England, three in 10 ambulances were delayed outside hospitals.

More than 11,000 ambulances in England - 15% of the total - waited more than an hour.

Iain said: "Now we've heard horrific stories in the press of people who have had to wait 10 hours, 12 hours,I think there's one woman today [who waited] 40 hours.

"Now this is just not acceptable in a health service which we're told is fantastic.

"Now there are always reasons why these things happen.

"And if there are reasons why these things happen then there are ways of surely ameliorating those things.

"But nothing has been done over the past month so far as I can see to make the situation better."

In addition, NHS England data has shown that, despite being well enough to leave, 57.5% of patients were last week stuck in hospitals.

In response to that figure, Iain said: "57.5! I mean, that is an appalling figure. So surely it's at that end of the whole chain that things need to improve."

Iain also later added: "It's not an easy situation for anyone to explain. It's not an easy situation to deal with within a few days or a few weeks. I completely understand that.

"But you'd like to have some reassuring words from the Health Secretary today to say 'OK we know there's a problem, this is what we're going to do about it'.

"So where is the Health Secretary?

"Why isn't he all over the media today trying to reassure us that if we fall ill in an emergency situation or our family members fall ill, they will be treated as soon as practically possible?

"Because if you're having a stroke or a heart attack, you can't afford to wait 30 minutes to get into the hospital. It is as simple as that."