Ambulance workers are “frustrated” and “demoralised”, a service chief said today.
West Midlands Ambulance Service has apologised repeatedly to families and patients in recent months for not being able to respond to calls as quickly as it would have liked.
Some of those patients left waiting for an ambulance in the region have died.
Mark Docherty, a director at WMAS, says staff are also frustrated at the delays, which have sometimes caused conflict with anxious families.
He added: “It’s really upsetting – you come into the NHS to help people.
“If you join as a paramedic you want to be out there helping patients – it really is demoralising.
“At the end of the day we want to remain a responsive service.”
Mr Docherty said that ambulances having to queue while waiting outside hospitals to hand over patients across the region had become a big issue, but that action is being taken to try to improve the situation.
Recent NHS data showed that more than half of patients taken to hospital in an ambulance faced handover delays of more than 30 minutes in parts of the region.