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23 ambulances queue outside overstretched A&E department

30 Dec 2019 Daily Mail Online

A staggering 23 ambulances were forced to queue outside an overstretched A&E department just weeks after a patient died in one while waiting for treatment.

The huge jam was the second in a matter of days as staff at Worcestershire Royal Hospital were overwhelmed with patients struck down by flu and norovirus.

One ex soldier whose father spent more than seven hours in an ambulance compared the hospital to one in a war zone, saying it was 'worse than Iraq and Afghanistan'.

The huge jam was the second in a matter of days as staff at Worcestershire Royal Hospital were overwhelmed with patients struck down by flu and norovirus

Paul Reid, who served in the Royal Medical Corps, said his 91-year-old father's ordeal didn't end when he was eventually admitted to A&E, because after being assessed he was wheeled onto a corridor that already had 14 patients waiting on beds. 

'Sitting waiting in the back of an ambulance is really quite criminal,' he told the Worcester Observer. 'I was in Iraq and Afghanistan and their hospitals are better than ours.'

Last Monday was the busiest day for the hospital, with 182 patient admissions.

The jams came just weeks after a patient died after being forced to wait for an hour inside an ambulance outside the hospital's A&E department because there was no room inside. 

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While the patient was in the ambulance his condition deteriorated and he was brought into A&E after an hour but suffered a cardiac arrest and died on a trolley in the corridor.

The tragedy happened on November 27 - days after Health Secretary Matt Hancock visited the hospital while election campaigning.

Figures for the week of December 9-15 show that 1,122 patients were brought by ambulance to A&E at the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust hospitals.

Over the week, 462 arrivals waited 30 minutes or more to be transferred to the emergency department.

One former soldier whose father spent more than seven hours in an ambulance compared the hospital to one in a war zone, saying it was 'worse than Iraq and Afghanistan'

This is despite NHS guidelines saying all patients should be transferred within 15 minutes.

Of these, 178 patients waited an hour or longer.

Meanwhile, in October, an ambulance crew had to wait more than 11 hours to offload a patient.  

Paul Brennan, deputy chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: 'Demand on our emergency departments continues to be very high and the Christmas period has remained very busy with ambulance arrivals up nine per cent this year compared to last year.

'Staff across the trust are dedicated to providing safe, dignified, compassionate care for our patients, with everyone focused on putting our patients first.'

An NHS spokesman said: 'Hospitals now have more beds open than this time last year, but flu and norovirus have kicked in a bit earlier so are adding pressure at a time when the NHS is already looking after significantly more people than ever before.

'The NHS has already looked after 1 million more people in A&E this year compared to last, and as we head into the holiday period it's really important that the public help our hard-working staff by getting their flu vaccine now.

'Please use the free NHS 111 phone and online service for urgent medical needs, seeing their local pharmacist for minor ailments and ensuring they are stocked up on the medication they need.' 

Original Link: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7836937/23-ambulances-queue-outside-overstretched-E-department.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490

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