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NHS saw busiest week for ambulances this winter

NHS saw busiest week for ambulances this winter
By Jess Hacker
5 January 2024

More than 93,500 ambulances arrived at hospitals to hand over patients in one week, marking the busiest week this winter, according to NHS weekly data.

But the new data has also shown that hours lost to ambulance handover delays have more than halved compared to last year – at 24,384, compared to 54,853 – despite last week being the busiest so far this winter for ambulance arrivals at hospital (93,576).

And more than twice as many NHS 111 calls were answered within a minute compared to last year.

It comes as junior doctors have this week taken to the picket line marking the longest consecutive strike action period in the NHS’ history.

The NHS data also indicated that of those in hospital with flu last week, 81 were in critical care – up nearly 70% from the 48 the previous week.

The number of people in hospital with norovirus fell from 378 in hospital each day last week, down from 452 the week before. And separate figures showed that the number of patients in hospitals with Covid has increased by 72% in a month, with around 3,929 people on average in hospitals with the virus each day in the last week of 2023. This was up from 2,290 in the week ending 30 November.

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