NHS admits 123 patients have died because of ambulance delays

The NHS admits 123 ­patients have died because of ambulance delays.

Some deaths were related to queues on arrival at accident and emergency departments.

And officials agree the full death list may be higher because some have not been reported.

The shocking toll stretches over the last four years, according to NHS Improvement which is responsible for improving safety in the health service.

A further 279 patients suffered severe harm due to delays, according to official figures ­obtained by the GMB union.

A total of 4,461 ­ambulance patients were harmed in some way due to ­access, admission, transfer or discharge problems.

And the GMB warns ­ambulance response times ­appear to be worsening.

Kevin Brandstatter, the union’s national officer, said: “It’s sadly no surprise these delays are costing lives.

“This is a terrible indictment of the lack of investment in the NHS leading to a lack of enough staff.

“This is a national scandal and the Government is solely to blame.” An NHS Improvement spokesman said: “The information we get is provided on a voluntary basis by NHS organisations.

“There may well be more than 123 deaths as reporting is not compulsory.”

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