The number of calls for an ambulance in England have almost doubled since 2010, with warnings of record pressures on the NHS that are seeing A&E patients stuck in corridors and many paramedics quitting the job.
Ambulance calls have risen by 10 times more than the number of ambulance workers, according to a new analysis of NHS data. An increase in people seeking emergency treatment, GPs unable to cope with demand and cuts to preventive care are all being blamed for the figures.
The analysis, carried out by the GMB union, found that there were 7.9m calls in 2010-11. By 2021-22, however, the number had risen to 14m, an increase of 77%. Over the same period, the number of ambulance workers has risen by just 7%, heaping more pressure on staff.
While the figures represent all calls for an ambulance, some of which go unanswered and do not lead to a vehicle being sent, they reveal the increasing pressures that have led to claims that patient safety is being put at risk by ambulance waiting times. There has been a significant increase in the number of the most serious safety incidents logged by paramedics in England over the past year.