Reducing ambulance delays at King George Hospital

Ambulances lined up

Ambulances lined up

Our A&E team at King George Hospital have been working closely with colleagues in the London Ambulance Service (LAS) to reduce patient handover delays, managing to lessen the time by 27 minutes over the last year.

NHS Providers has recognised our joint achievement, featuring a case study in their weekly bulletin ‘NHS Winter Watch’.

We focussed on this after seeing an increase in handovers taking over an hour between August and December 2022, peaking at 38 per cent, well above the national average.

Since July 2023, delays of over an hour dropped sharply, most recently accounting for less than one per cent of all handovers – against a national average of 13 per cent (October 2023).

Some of the collaborative work which contributed included more pre-emptive information sharing, dedicated roles to improve patient handover experience and integrating LAS’ W45 scheme into standard practice, where paramedics withdraw from the hospital after 45 minutes.

Matthew Trainer, our Chief Executive, said:

This has been a great effort between our team and the London Ambulance Service and shows just what we can achieve when we work closely together.

Quicker handovers from ambulance to A&E are much better for patients and also get paramedics back on the road faster, to help others in need in the community.

This improvement is despite the number of patient handovers at the hospital increasing from an average of 35 daily in April 2023 to 43 that November, excluding priority calls.

This is part of our ongoing improvement which has been recognised by NHS England; while the most recent A&E performance statistics, published on Thursday February 8, saw our best Type 1 January performance in five years.

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