Paramedics spent 11,000 hours waiting in January
Paramedics spent the equivalent of 900 12-hour shifts waiting to hand patients over to hospital staff in January.
The average handover time at hospitals across the north west rocketed to 39 minutes the same month – more than double the 15-minute standard – as medics spent 11,000 hours waiting for nurses to take charge of patients.
That figure has since improved to under 36 minutes, but funding worth £370,000 is expected to be lost because of the delays.
At Blackpool Victoria Hospital, the length of time paramedics are left waiting outside A&E has soared by 450 per cent since 2013/14.
The issue has been reflected nationally as patient numbers increase, with all but one ambulance trust reporting an increase.
Director of operations at the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), Ged Blezard, said: “As with many other parts of the NHS, we are continuing to see a high demand for our services right across the North West.
“This, along with longer handovers at hospitals, does cause significant challenges for the ambulance service and we are continuing to invest into changing the way that our service is delivered.”