Ambulances diverted as A&E sees patient rise

Gemma Weir and Michelle Frank. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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AN INCREASE in emergency department admissions has seen ambulances diverted away from Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Speaking at the Portsmouth health overview and scrutiny panel meeting, Peter Mellor, director of corporate affairs at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said they had seen a sudden increase in patients in the past fortnight.

He said this had led to ambulances which would have taken patients to QA Hospital, in Cosham, instead going to Southampton General Hospital.

‘For no obvious reason the past couple of weeks have been really busy with lots and lots of people coming into the department,’ Mr Mellor said.

‘This has disrupted flow in the hospital and we have been admitting more people than we are discharging.

‘I am aware of ambulances having to wait to hand over patients and we did ask Southampton General Hospital if they would be prepared to take ambulances for a short while.

‘Patient safety is paramount and we are considering this at all times.’