Some areas are waiting over 20 minutes for a 999 response to arrive in life-threatening cases. What can be done?Read more
London Ambulance Service
December 2018 was the busiest month on record for the London Ambulance Service (LAS), new figures have shown.
Paramedics treated almost 101,000 patients in the capital in December - about 7,000 more than the monthly average the year before.
The second busiest month on record was December 2016, when LAS paramedics saw 99,632 patients.
Paul Woodrow, director of operations, said "Christmas festivities and winter illnesses and injuries" always meant the end of the year was a particularly busy time for his staff members.
Police have released an image of a man who assaulted a paramedic in Brent.
The man "squared up" to a paramedic who had been called to a teenage girl with breathing difficulties, who had collapsed on the street on Tuesday 9 October in Harlesden Road, north-west London, police said.
He began to shout abuse and placed his finger on the paramedics nose. The paramedic activated his panic alarm and the man ran off.
The paramedic was not injured, but due to the actions and the threats of the man, this is being investigated as common assault.
The man is described as; black, aged in his late 30s, 6ft 2ins, and wearing glasses.
London Ambulance Service is teaming up with colleagues in neighbouring counties to help boost efficiency.
LAS and South Central Ambulance Service will consider sharing vehicles, IT systems and equipment in order to make the most of their budgets.
The trusts hope to learn from each other’s best practices by working more closely together.
LAS chief executive Garrett Emmerson said: “Our patients expect and deserve the best care we can provide and that means making every £1 of tax payers’ money count.
“To keep improving, we need to partner with the wider NHS - and that’s what this partnership is all about, working with and learning from our neighbours to ensure the best care for the 16 million people who live and work across London and the South Central region.”
South Central Ambulance Service chief executive Will Hancock added: “We already work closely together with London Ambulance Service, including at incidents which happen on or near our boundaries, during large scale planned events and major incidents.
"With ever increasing demands on ambulance services across the country, such partnerships will be crucial to ensure that the improvements in patient care and experience, working environments for staff and innovations in service delivery can be delivered within our existing resources."
South Central Ambulance Service covers Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire, as well as Sussex and Surrey for non-emergency patient transport services, while LAS covers the 32 London boroughs.
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) is in danger of being "abused" by people calling ambulances in non-emergency situations, a doctor has said in response to a new poll about calling 999.
One in three people out of 1,000 Londoners who were polled said they would call an ambulance in a non-emergency situation because they did not know what else to do, according to a report by the London Assembly's health committee.
One in 10 people in the capital said they would call an emergency ambulance if their child got their hand stuck in a jam jar, while more than half of 18 to 24-year-olds would call an ambulance in a non-emergency situation if they had no other way to get someone to hospital.
Despite this, 56% of people said they strongly agreed with the statement "I know when to call an ambulance".
Dr Onkar Sahota, chairman of the London Assembly committee which is looking into the future of LAS, said people need a better understanding of the various ways to access healthcare.
"The 999 system can be abused by those with spurious issues but it also has to cover for problems in other parts of the healthcare system," he added.
"We all need to work together to make the best use of our precious ambulance service resources."
LAS chief executive Garrett Emmerson added: "The latest poll of Londoners shows we need to remind people, of all ages, to use us wisely and only call 999 in a genuine emergency.
"We are delighted that the survey shows that the overwhelming majority of Londoners have confidence in us and think our staff do an excellent job."
The longest delays in the UK were recorded by Welsh Ambulance Service, which kept four patients waiting for more than 50 hours.
In London the longest wait was 14 hours and 26 minutes, which was below average.
A spokesman said the figures were "not typical" and "represent the extreme end of the waiting time spectrum".
The Patients Association said they were "extremely concerning".
Paramedics have taught taxi drivers to perform CPR as part of a trial.