THE ambulance trust operating in Portsmouth and surrounding areas has listed delays at Queen Alexandra Hospital as one of its top three risks.
At yesterday’s board of directors meeting, South Central Ambulance Service (Scas) discussed lengthy delays at A&E over Christmas and new year.
In a report presented to the board, it said: ‘The main challenge impacting on available resources has been the increasing hospital handover delays across the trust; however, the greatest increase has been at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT).
‘Week commencing December 25 saw 1,296 lost hours which is the highest we have recorded in Scas. This figure is 590 hours greater than the same week last year.
‘This is having significant impact on our ability to respond to patients in a timely manner, as well as affecting staff welfare with a number of crews missing their meal breaks and finishing late off duty due to being held at PHT.’
As previously reported in The News, like other NHS hospitals across the country QA Hospital faced an increase in patient admissions as well as an increase of flu-related cases over Christmas.
This led to the hospital declaring an internal incident and putting a plea out for all staff to go into the hospital to help care for patients.
Mark Cubbon, chief executive of PHT, said: ‘As with many hospitals over the festive period the emergency department at QA Hospital was under significant pressure.
‘Unfortunately this meant that some patients did experience delays and we would like to apologise to them.
‘Ensuring that patients do not stay in hospital for any longer than they need to is a key focus for us and we recognise the central role we play.
‘We are also working closely with our colleagues across the local health and social care system to create more joined-up services which will result in a better service for patients as well as a more efficient system.’