WEST Midlands Ambulance Service could collapse entirely on August 17, a leading director of the service has claimed.
Mark Docherty made the stark prediction that the service faces a ‘Titanic moment’ this summer in an interview with the Health Service Journal (HSJ) published today (Wednesday).
We reported last month on a delay of some 14 hours faced by a crew outside the Worcestershire Royal and Mr Docherty told the publication the number of people waiting 24 hours being admitted is even rising.
According to Mr Docherty, the situation is now so bad he is predicting the lifeline will ‘collapse’ in August.
“Around August 17 is the day I think it will all fail,” he said. “I’ve been asked how I can be so specific, but that date is when a third of our resource (will be) lost to delays, and that will mean we just can’t respond. Mathematically it will be a bit like a Titanic moment.
“It will be a mathematical (certainty) that this thing is sinking, and it will be pretty much beyond the tipping point by then.”
“It would make me the happiest person in the world if everyone in the system proves to me that actually the ambulance service in the West Midlands isn’t going to fail on August 17, and I’ve got it completely wrong.”
An NHS spokesman said: “The NHS has been working hard to reduce ambulance delays and £150 million of additional system funding has been allocated for ambulance service pressures in 2022-23.
“There is no doubt the NHS still faces pressures, and the latest figures are another reminder of the crucial importance of community and social care, in helping people in hospital leave when they are fit to do so, not just because it is better for them but because it helps free up precious NHS bed space.”
We have approached West Midlands Ambulance Service and are awaiting a response.