Intended for healthcare professionals


Number of ambulances being turned away from full emergency departments increases by a quarter

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 31 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3571
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Labour has urged the government to suspend all planned closures of hospital emergency departments, citing more “evidence” of the strain they are under.

It published figures showing a jump of 24% in one year in the number of ambulances turned away from emergency departments that were full—from 287 in 2011-12 to 357 in 2012-13.

Labour said that in recent weeks, hospitals that had to send ambulances away to other units included Queen’s Hospital (Romford), Whipps Cross (Waltham Forest), Princess Royal (Bromley), Lewisham Hospital (south London), Northwick Park (Newham), and King George’s (Ilford).

Labour said that the diversions had occurred either …

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