1667 patients in Tower Hamlets have faced waits of half-an-hour of more in ambulances outside A&E so far this winter, Liberal Democrat analysis has revealed. Of these, 286 faced waits of over an hour.
In the week to 31st December, 1381 patients faced waits of over half an hour and 286 spent at least an hour waiting in ambulances outside A&E.
Analysis also shows that local hospitals are suffering from dangerously high bed occupancy rates. Barts Health hospital trust has been at least 95% full for 28 of 42 days.
This is way above the recommended maximum level of 85% bed occupancy that experts say must be maintained to protect patient safety.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for a penny on income tax for the NHS and care, which would raise £6bn a year, around £20m of which would go to Tower Hamlets based on current allocations.
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson Elaine Bagshaw commented:
“These figures show the NHS crisis in Tower Hamlets is worsening. Thousands of patients are being left stuck in ambulances outside A&Es while several hospitals are suffering from a severe lack of beds.
"Every ambulance stuck outside an A&E department could well be needed by another patient waiting desperately at home for help.
“Each day seems to bring yet more bad news about the state of the health service. The blame for this lies firmly at the government’s door.
“Ministers refused to provide the funding that top NHS officials said was necessary and now patients are paying the price.
“The Liberal Democrats will give the NHS and care the extra cash they desperately need by putting a penny on income tax, which would raise £20.24 million a year for health services in Tower Hamlets alone."