TWENTY ambulances have been queueing at Queen Alexandra Hospital with long waiting times at A&E.
Patients are being treated by paramedics outside the A&E department as they wait to be admitted.
South Central Ambulance Service (Scas) has confirmed 20 ambulances were waiting as of 3.30pm today.
It comes after A&E was briefly shut in the early hours of last Thursday morning with extra consultants drafted in.
A spokeswoman for Scas said: ‘Patients are being cared for by ambulance staff while they await handover into the care of the hospital staff.
‘We are working with healthcare partners in order to ensure a swift and smooth handover for the benefit of our patients and our staff.
‘Demand on our services in the South East of Hampshire and beyond is continuing to remain high, with patients requiring our assistance for a range of health issues.
‘Regrettably the knock on effect of the demand and the turnaround issues means an unfortunate delay for our patients as we try and handover our patients into the hospital so that we can assist our next patient.’
The spokeswoman apologised for anyone waiting longer than normal for an ambulance.
But she warned people should visit or call their pharmacist, GP, a minor injuries unit, walk-in centre or NHS 111, rather than calling 999 or going to A&E as a first option.