The cost of hospital delays for patients

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THE region’s ambulance service says delays in handing over patients for treatment at hospitals wasted £4.5m in nine months.

Bosses at East Midlands Ambulance Service calculated the costs based on paying paramedics across the region while they were not available for a call-out between April and December last year.

A detailed report to its board stated a number of factors are to blame, but long waits in hospital corridors for emergency staff to take on patients were a significant reason.

Director of nursing and quality Karen Glover said: “The executive team is concerned that turnaround delays could compromise patient experience and patient safety. Our operational staff and management at all levels have informally reported that patients are regularly being cared for in hospital corridors due to excessive pre-handover delays.”

She added that caring for patients in hospital corridors is “adversely affecting patient dignity and confidentiality”.

As a result of the report NHS Northamptonshire has been asked to provide a formal response to ambulance bosses.