Police ‘taking place of ambulances’

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Published: Monday 11th May 2015 by The News Editor

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Hundreds of patients are being taken to hospital by police because ambulances fail to arrive in time, new figures reveal.

Scotland Yard disclosed that it was forced to transport people to hospital on 903 occasions last year.

The figures, released by the Metropolitan Police following a Freedom of Information request, mean officers were sent to stand in for paramedics at a rate of more than twice a day in 2014.

The force – Britain’s largest – was asked how many times officers were required to take someone to hospital because ambulances have not turned up in time.

July was the busiest month, when police transported patients on 102 occasions.

The trend continued this year, with figures showing there were 28 such incidents in the first half of January.

In recent months senior police have raised concerns about officers attending incidents that should be dealt with by paramedics.

Simon Cole, Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, told the Sunday Telegraph in November: “I am concerned that police officers on occasion are having to transport people to hospital when they should not have to do so, because there isn’t ambulance availability.

“It is not uncommon, and we are working hard to understand what contributes to it. We are anxious that we are spending time supporting the ambulance service.”

Published: Monday 11th May 2015 by The News Editor

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