Delayed handover of care at emergency departments

In November 2009, NHS London announced that delays in the handover of care of patients at emergency departments that exceed 60 minutes must be reported as a serious untoward incident. Full details can be found in the emergency department capacity management and closure policy (PDF, 358KB).

It has been agreed that we do not need to make a joint declaration and that familiar arrangements in relation to cross agency liaison will not apply.

We are of course happy to offer assistance and so can make available copies of the relevant 999 call record, as well as the assessment record completed by the ambulance staff involved. However, we would not expect that it will usually be necessary to provide any additional information.

Ambulance operations managers (AOMs) at the relevant ambulance station complexes will act as liaison officer accordingly.

Trusts seeking the information indicated when declaring a SUI in these circumstances should email us using the link on the right of this page, clearly highlighting that it relates to a ‘SUI delay in handover’. You will receive an automated acknowledgement and subsequently be provided with the contact details of the relevant AOM.

We would, however, very much welcome a copy of the final report/action plan being made available to us, especially where this identifies any issues relating to the service or management we provided so that we may offer comment and share learning, in line with the principles of good governance.

NHS London has issued frequently asked questions guidance (PDF, 52KB). If you would like to discuss any other matters relating to this type of serious untoward incident, please contact the Patient Safety Team at NHS London on 020 7932 2659 or email patientexperiences@londonambulance.nhs.uk

Contact Us

To report a delay in handover, please use the email link below