Ambulances seen queuing outside A&E at QA Hospital

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MORE than 10 ambulances were seen queuing outside the A&E department at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

The vehicles from South Central Ambulance Service (Scas) were seen yesterday afternoon at about 4.30pm waiting to hand over patients to the emergency department in Cosham.

At one point, the access to A&E was closed off to all vehicles but ambulances.

A spokesman from Scas said: ‘We unfortunately had a number of ambulances yesterday afternoon unable to hand over patients to the emergency department at the Queen Alexandra Hospital within the normal 15-minute target.

‘We were working with our colleagues at the hospital to improve the situation so that our crews and vehicles could be made available as soon as possible to meet demand from other patients in the area.’

As previously reported, ambulance handover times at A&E had been improving over the summer months after a number of initiatives were introduced. The number of patients waiting longer than 30 minutes and 60 minutes had dropped significantly.

The initiatives were introduced after 16 ambulances were seen queuing at QA Hospital in February this year when watchdog the Care Quality Commission carried out an unannounced inspection.

No-one was available to comment from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA Hospital.