Posted on November 02, 2015

Ambulances in two-hour delay at A&E

Last week saw long delays in ambulance handovers at Leicester Royal Infirmary, with some waiting up to two hours to transfer patients into A&E care. A relative of a patient took photographs of lines of ambulances waiting outside the hospital last Wednesday, when some patients were left in the back of an ambulance for around two hours before they could be handed over to medical staff. The scene echoed similar issues around 12 months ago when a number of hospitals were forced to declare the situation a 'major incident'. The photographs were taken by the granddaughter of an elderly gentlemen who had to spend two hours in an ambulance on arrival at the hospital; he had already waited two hours for the ambulance to arrive. They were told that the paramedics had been asked to prioritise the patients and raised concerns that this was not part of their job description. The situation occurred on the first day of an eight-week trial period to reduce handover times. The chief operating office for Leicester's hospitals, Richard Mitchell, has apologised to the patient for the delay. Mr Mitchell said that more than 600 patients arrived at the hospital on that day and that it is important for the hospital to work with the paramedics to ensure that the patients are prioritised and receive appropriate care while waiting. A spokesperson for the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) said that delays in handovers affect response times and that the new system should help to avoid these problems in the future, benefiting both patients and ambulance staff.
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