KING’S LYNN: QEH ambulance delays hit service to A&E patients
Emergency 999 calls are taking longer to get a response as ambulance crews are getting stuck in queues outside Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
The hospital’s Accident and Emergency department is also being thrown into chaos as patients awaiting treatment by doctors are forced to wait in ambulances outside.
The long delays mean ambulances are being drafted in from other areas to answer 999 calls, with one Lynn woman being told she had to wait two hours last week before one would arrive.
The news comes following a similar situation at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital last week, when Norwich area’s entire fleet of 17 ambulances were left queueing to handover patients to A&E.
Yesterday, bosses at the QEH said the problem there was not on the same scale as at the N&N, but admitted it does need addressing.
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “Obviously any delays at hospital handover do have a negative impact on our service as they mean crews waiting in queues cannot respond to calls coming in but we are working closer than ever with commissioners, hospitals and the strategic health authority to reduce these for the benefit of all our patients.”
The hospital’s director of nursing and clinical services, Gwyneth Wilson said: “We aim for patients to be handed over to us by the ambulance service within 15 minutes of arrival, during which time the patient receives continuous supervision or medical care as necessary, with the ambulance crew still in attendance. This is to allow essential administration work to be completed.
“Following handover the ambulance crew then has a further 10 minutes to reinstate their vehicle and to leave the hospital site.
“In common with all other NHS acute hospitals we have remained constantly busy
throughout the winter, dealing with large numbers of very sick people. At times this makes the Emergency Department very busy indeed.
“However, it is in everyone’s interest to have ambulances clear the hospital site as soon as they can safely do so. We are working closely with our partners in the ambulance service to ensure we achieve our standard handover times. ”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for King's Lynn
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: South west