Shocking queue of 23 ambulances with patients forced to wait outside A&E days before Christmas

Joe GampContributor, Yahoo News UK
Yahoo News UK

A hospital A&E department was stretched to the limit with new patient admissions - resulting in 23 ambulances being forced to queue up outside.

The backlog of ambulances was the second in a matter of days at the NHS-run Worcestershire Royal Hospital, after a number of patients were admitted with flu and the norovirus.

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 the norovirus (SWNS)
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 the norovirus (SWNS)
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December 23 was the busiest day for the hospital, with 182 patient admissions putting strain on staff in the run up to Christmas.

Figures for the week of December 9-15 show how 1,122 patients were brought by ambulance to A&E at the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust hospitals - with 462 arrivals waiting for over 30 minutes to be transferred to A&E.

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 the norovirus (SWNS)
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 the norovirus (SWNS)

The jams come just weeks after a patient died after being forced to wait for an hour inside an ambulance outside the hospital’s A&E department.

Paramedics were told there was no room inside Worcestershire Royal Hospital for the man -but his condition deteriorated and he was brought into A&E after an hour on November 27.

A string of 23 ambulances were forced to queue outside the overstretched A&E department just weeks after a patient died in one while waiting for treatment (SWNS)
A string of 23 ambulances were forced to queue outside the overstretched A&E department just weeks after a patient died in one while waiting for treatment (SWNS)

He suffered a cardiac arrest and died on a trolley in the corridor.

Commenting on the jam, the hospital’s chief executive, Paul Brennan, said: “Staff across the trust are dedicated to providing safe, dignified, compassionate care for our patients, with everyone focused on putting our patients first.

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“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff and our partner organisations for their hard work during the festive period and also take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.

“We would advise the public to help us by choosing their health services wisely, and only attend A&E if they really need to."

December 23 was the busiest day for the hospital this year, with 182 patient admissions (PA)
December 23 was the busiest day for the hospital this year, with 182 patient admissions (PA)

It was recently revealed that waiting times for A&E services in England and Wales were at their lowest ever point.

And earlier in December, the norovirus bug forced hospitals in England to close 1,100 beds in just one week - with one facility shutting down four wards to prevent the virus from spreading.

A spokesperson for the NHS 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.”

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