More than 1,000 patients wait an hour to be transferred to hospitals

PATIENTS are waiting more than an hour to be transferred from ambulances to hospitals across the south.

Wednesday, 2nd March 2016, 3:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd March 2016, 4:59 pm
Ambulances outside Queen Alexandra Hospital

Figures obtained by the BBC revealed more than 1,340 patients waited longer than 60 minutes to be checked in between January and November at Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham. There are 12 times as many patients at QA waiting for over an hour than there are at Southampton General Hospital.

One man speaking on BBC Radio Solent said an ambulance was delayed in getting to him because none were available due to long waits at QA Hospital.

A spokeswoman for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: ‘Our priority, as always, is the care and the safety of our patients.

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‘We have been experiencing an extremely high demand on our emergency department, with huge numbers of very sick, frail and elderly patients requiring emergency care.

‘These increased elderly admissions, and the acuity of patients who are coming through our doors, does impact on our ability to accommodate, in a timely fashion, all ambulance arrivals.

‘The demographic of our patients also means that we receive more ambulances at Portsmouth than other trusts across the region served by South Central Ambulance Service due to the higher activity.

She added: ‘We know that patient experience has been affected as a result of the pressures, and we are committed to improving access to emergency care.

‘Locally we have been working with our health system partners in an Emergency Care Improvement Programme, which is designed to offer intensive practical help and support in delivering improvements in quality, safety and patient flow.

‘This includes improving the way in which we are able to discharge those patients who are well enough into the community with the necessary care packages and support, in order to free up beds for the use of patients who need to be admitted.’