Throughout this winter a member of an ambulance crew secretly filmed his daily work for Dispatches and Channel 4. The covert footage vividly records him and colleagues struggling to save lives despite lengthening ambulance delays, and overwhelmed A&E departments that stack patients on corridors without the hospital medical staff to care for them.
‘People aren’t aware of how bad it is’, he says. ‘We have patients who are needlessly coming to harm and that is a fixable problem and I hope that by doing this, something can be done.’
The undercover footage and additional case studies uncovered by the film-makers reveal how the NHS’s failure to properly deal with emergency calls causes suffering, long term harm, and needless death. Adrian Boyle, the President of the Royal College of Medicine, says the delays in recent months have caused many hundreds of deaths: ‘most likely three to 500 excess deaths each week. It’s much worse this winter than any winter beforehand. It’s on a completely different scale of poor performance.’
Undercover Ambulance: NHS in Chaos – Dispatches
Thursday at 9.00pm on Channel 4.