Hospital To Patients: Wait in the Ambulance, Please!

The Problem: The British government set a target of having patients be seen by doctors within 4 hours of arriving at the ER.

The Good but Hard-to-do Solution: Increase ER efficiency by hiring more doctors, nurses and equipments.

The Brilliantly Easy but Bad Solution: Well, make 'em wait outside. Technically, patients are still seen within the targeted 4 hours once they're in the ER ...

Guess which one the hospitals chose:

Hospitals were last night accused of keeping thousands of seriously ill patients in ambulance 'holding patterns' outside accident and emergency units to meet a government pledge that all patients are treated within four hours of admission.

Those affected by 'patient stacking' include people with broken limbs or those suffering fits or breathing problems. An Observer investigation has also found that some wait for up to five hours in ambulances because A&E units have refused to admit them until they can guarantee to treat them within the time limit.

Link (Photo: Rui Vieira/PA) - via Super Punch

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Thank you Midwest Medic. That problem is not confined to England in the least. I've had to wait hours in the ER before with minor hemorraging due to a cyst. Hurt like nothing else. Actually, I got sent home three times before they figured out it WAS a hemorraging cyst.
AND my dad and aunt were both put ON HOLD by 911 when my mother fell ill from meningitis.
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This problem should be blamed on the hospital and it's administrators, not the country the hospital is in. We have similar problems in the US. It's not uncommon to take a pt to the ER and have them put "in the hallway" either a bed or chair in the ER hallway, hoping a room can open soon. Yes, they'll get care, but not the same level as if they were in a room...not cardiac monitors in the hallway...nurses just taking extra pts to cover hallway pts, so they really don't want them...they are already spread too thin by that least in the ambulance there is a medic right there for them...mind you this also stinks becuase the ambulance likely needs to leave to make other runs, so this would negatively effect the whole city/area the hospital is in.
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