Worcestershire Royal Hospital: Ambulance’s 11-hour wait

Worcestershire Royal Hospital entrance Image copyright PA
Image caption Concerns have previously been raised surrounding ambulance handovers

An ambulance crew had to wait more than 11 hours to offload a patient at a hospital where A&E delays have prompted safety fears.

On the same day, 34 ambulance patients waited more than an hour to be booked in at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

West Midlands Ambulance Service briefed staff it had been unable to respond to 999 calls “in a timely manner” due to the delays, the BBC understands.

The hospital trust’s boss said ending ambulance waits was a priority.

The delays happened last week.

Earlier this year, a watchdog criticised the hospital over the safety of its emergency department, citing difficulties in ambulance handovers among its concerns.

And In March 2018, ambulance service bosses warned patients faced “significant risk of harm on a daily basis” due to delays getting people off ambulances and into the site.

But waits have continued despite Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust investing in more beds.

On 23 September, paramedics spent 13 hours in a hospital corridor looking after multiple patients. And in the month’s first 29 days, there were 257 one-hour delays at the site.

Matthew Hopkins, the trust’s chief executive, apologised and said there had been an increase in patients coming through emergency departments.

“The eradication of corridor care and ambulance delays is my number one priority, so that we no longer cause these adverse consequences for patients or staff,” he said.

The ambulance service said it worked closely with hospitals and had a number of measures to “ensure ambulances are able to offload patients as quickly as possible”.

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