Seriously ill children are waiting up to nine hours for an intensive care bed to become available, while others are being transported up to 120 miles from their homes to receive the medical treatment they urgently need, senior paediatricians have revealed.
In the last two weeks, at least 17 children with acute illnesses requiring intensive care have had to be transported out of their regions because of a lack of beds. Some paediatric intensive care units, treating the most seriously ill children, are working at 115% of their capacity, such is the level of demand and lack of resources, according to the Paediatric Intensive Care Society. As of Friday night, there were just four beds available in England and one in Belfast.
The revelations illustrate the stress being faced by the NHS this winter. New figures provided by the Labour party additionally show that, in October, only 67.3% of ambulances for the most seriously ill adults and children, who are not breathing or do not have a pulse, arrived on the scene within eight minutes of being called, against a target of 75%.
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