Ambulance service warns of long delays at Queen Alexandra HospitalÂ

AMBULANCE services are struggling to cope after a surge in the number of people being admitted to Queen Alexandra Hospital led to delays in services.

Monday, 23rd July 2018, 8:20 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd July 2018, 8:29 pm
Scas has warned of delays in treatment at QA tonight

South Central Ambulance Service (Scas) has warned the delays are affecting its ability to get to patients in its normal response times.

The problem is so severe that officials from the emergency organisation have now warned people it will be prioritising those most critically wounded or ill as a way to cope.

Scas also urged people to only call 999 in a serious emergency in a hope it might relieve the strain on QA and for those with minor injuries to expect delays of up to four hours in hospital.

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In a statement, Scas said: '˜Due to volume of patients at the QA Hospital, we have been experiencing long handover delays all afternoon which is now affecting our ability to get to all of our patients locally within our normal response times.

'˜This will mainly affect category three and category four patients (i.e. those who are calling 999 with illnesses or injuries that are not serious or immediately life-threatening) into this evening and potentially overnight.

'˜We will of course be prioritising patients with immediately life-threatening illnesses or injuries (category one) and serious illnesses/injuries (category two).

'˜As well as this, we are asking those  patients triaged as requiring a response within two hours (category three) or three hours (category four) to please bear with us as it may take us longer to get to them this evening.'

Only call 999 or go to A&E at the QA if a serious emergency, this can include:

- Loss of consciousness

- Persistent, severe chest pain

- Breathing difficulties or not breathing at all

- Severe bleeding that cannot be stopped

- If you suspect someone is having a heart attack or stroke

- Severe allergic reaction, burn or scald

For everything else, call 111 and think about using local alternatives for minor injuries and illnesses, such as:

- St Mary's Treatment Centre '“ Minor Injuries and Illness Unit '“ open till 10pm tonight

- Gosport War Memorial Hospital '“ Minor Injuries Unit '“ open till 9pm tonight