Increase in ambulances waiting times


- Credit: Archant

An increase in A&E waiting times has been revealed.

The number of patients waiting for more than four hours to been seen at A&E at hospitals run by the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, including Lister Hospital in Stevenage, has more than doubled from November to December.

A Freedom of Information request from the BBC also found that one ambulance in the East of England had to wait five hours and 51 minutes before the patient they were carrying was admitted to hospital.

Sharon Taylor, leader of Stevenage Borough Council and Labour parliamentary candidate for the town, has said the Government is to blame.

She said: “The work done by the staff at the Lister is exceptional, working long hours in ever more difficult circumstances.

“However, they are being let down by those at the top. Since the election, the Government has sacked almost 6,000 frontline nursing staff and as we face a winter crisis in accident and emergency, they’re forced to look abroad to recruit temporary nurses.

“The incompetence of the Government is putting lives at risk and I hope this latest set of figures cause them to take decisive action to prevent the worst.”

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A spokesman for the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust said: “These figures are a snapshot in time and do not reflect the reality of the Lister’s real performance. We work very closely with our ambulance service colleagues to do everything we can to minimise such waits, but with up to 100 patients brought in by ambulance every day this can be very challenging at the very busiest times.

“Although the formal handover of the paperwork may be delayed, patients are always transferred in to the department for their treatment to begin – and seriously ill patients are always rushed through.”

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: “The Trust has been working successfully with hospitals to reduce handover delays and has also introduced hospital ambulance liaison officers at some hospitals to improve the handover process between ambulance crews and hospital staff. This has been particularly successful at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and this model is being expanded over the winter.”