Thursday 12 August 2021 / 5:40 PM Health / Justin Madders

Labour demands urgent help for ambulance service as it receives record calls

Labour Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders has today written to the Health Secretary calling for urgent help for the ambulance service, including drawing on support from the armed services if necessary.

New figures published today show that July 2021 was the first month where the Ambulance Services in England answered over a million calls. Response times hit their longest ever for all except the most urgent of calls.

Justin Madders highlighted examples from MPs across the country who had received emails from distressed constituents about their experiences. Over recent weeks MPs have received numerous emails about long waits for their calls to be answered, long waits for ambulances to arrive or concerns from staff themselves that the service is under pressure.

Examples include:

  • A woman in the south east who waited 5 minutes for their call to be answered
  • A man in the north west who waited 10 hours for an ambulance after suffering appendicitis
  • A pensioner who waited 9 hours for an ambulance after collapsing at home

In his letter to the Health Secretary, Justin Madders, Labour’s Shadow Health Minister said:

“NHS services are stretched to breaking point in the worst summer crisis on record leaving people waiting longer for help in pain and distress. Demand will only rise as we head towards Winter and the current pressures on the NHS are unsustainable.

“I am asking you to urgently put in place additional support for ambulance services in England, including drawing on support from the armed services if necessary, to ensure they can give patients the very best care.”