Four of the UK’s ambulance trusts have kept patients waiting for more than 24 hours – while one person waited for two-and-a-half days, it has been reported.
A freedom of information request by the BBC found Welsh Ambulance Service recorded the longest delays, taking more than 50 hours to respond to 999 calls on four occasions over the course of a year.
One patient waited for 62 hours, the data showed.East of England, South East Coast and South Central ambulance services all recorded longest waits of more than 24 hours between June 2017 and 2018, the BBC said.
The trusts said the longest waits were for “less serious calls”, and they had to prioritise people in life-threatening or urgent conditions.
These figures represent the extreme end of the waiting time spectrum and are neither typical nor do they explain the circumstances of these individual casesStephen Clinton of the Welsh Ambulance Service
The Welsh Ambulance Service said it “fully accepted” a number of patients waited “far longer than anyone would like”, but said the figures were “not typical”.
Stephen Clinton, assistant director of operations for the service, told the broadcaster: “These figures represent the extreme end of the waiting time spectrum and are neither typical nor do they explain the circumstances of these individual cases.”
He said in some cases patients were already in the care of medical teams, while others were affected by extreme weather conditions.
The data also showed that the total number of calls received by ambulance services had risen by 15% between 2015 and 2017.