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  1. ITV Report

Paramedics say two-thirds of call outs are not serious emergencies

New figures show 100,000 patients have had to wait in the back of ambulances because A&E departments across England were simply too busy.

Of that figure, a quarter were not seen for an hour.

Statistics released on Thursday by NHS England show there were 12,600 ambulance delays of more than 30 minutes this week, down from 16,700 last week.

Of these, 2,600 were delays of more than 60 minutes, down from 5,100.

The figures highlight the pressure the NHS is under during winter months, and ITV News followed a West Midlands ambulance crew during a shift to see how they cope.

At 6am the first call comes in - an elderly woman who has fallen over at home and injured her head.

Straight after that was another elderly patient in distress.

For paramedic Terry Head, it is a common occurrence.

"(It's) pretty normal, especially in care homes, and people that have carers come in," she says.

West Midlands paramedic Terry Head Credit: ITV News

"Quite often the carer will come in and find the patient on the floor.or the resident on the floor."

Their third call out is to a cancer survivor who has developed an infection.

They take her to George Eliot Hospital, where she is forced to wait in a corridor for 50 minutes before being placed in an A&E bed.

Terry and her partner Rich wait alongside the patient.

"(It's) quite frustrating, to be honest - you want the best for the patient, so you want the treatment as soon as possible - it's sort of us stuck here, waiting," Rich says.

Calls have gone up from 2500 on a busy day to 3500-4000 on a quiet day.

Terry estimates two-thirds of the calls she attends are not serious emergencies.

"There's quite a lot that could maybe have other avenues, but either they don't feel that that's in place for them, so they feel that the only route they can go is phone for an ambulance cause they know that from us they'll get something," she says.