As a paramedic, I see an NHS ambulance service at breaking point, letting down those who need it most | The Secret Paramedic

Patients wait up to 12 hours. Some die waiting. How long must we wait for this dire situation to improve?

Waiting, and waiting, and waiting. For a GP appointment, a routine screening, a vaccine. To see a clinician in A&E, or for an ambulance to take you there. Waiting for a referral appointment, for the community nurse to arrive, for a care worker to call. The NHS waiting list feels endless. And all our leaders seem to do is tell us we must do our best so the health service doesn’t become overwhelmed.

As a paramedic with more than 20 years in the ambulance service, I know we are not the only ones to cry, “We are overwhelmed.” Over the past three nights I’ve been working the 7pm-7am shift. Every evening, I’ve arrived at work to a list of more than 160 outstanding 999 calls. That’s more than 160 people waiting for an ambulance. Some have been waiting for longer than 12 hours; some will have life-threatening or life-changing conditions.

The Secret Paramedic works for the ambulance service in England

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