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16 ambulances parked up outside King's Lynn's hospital



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Ambulances were stacked up outside Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital this afternoon after health chiefs begged people not to go to A&E unless in real need.

At one point today, QEH staff were reported to be giving hot drinks to paramedics and patients in the waiting ambulances.

Alan Taylor-Shearer, who had gone to the hospital to pick up his son, said he was amazed by the scenes. He told the Lynn News: "I can count 16 ambulances parked up in the bays outside the main entrance with staff in scrubs outside trying to get to patients."

A Fleet of Emergency Ambulances at the main entrance to the Hospital due to an extremely busy period.. (55769110)
A Fleet of Emergency Ambulances at the main entrance to the Hospital due to an extremely busy period.. (55769110)

A statement from Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group this afternoon said that "unprecedented pressures across local NHS services, the Norfolk and Waveney health and care system" had put the system under great strain.

The public were asked not to just turn up to A&E but to always think NHS 111 first or visit their local pharmacy or contact their GP.

Alice Webster, chief nurse at the QEH said: “A&E’s across the region are seeing unprecedented demand and QEH is no exception.

A Fleet of Emergency Ambulances at the main entrance to the Hospital due to an extremely busy period.. (55769115)
A Fleet of Emergency Ambulances at the main entrance to the Hospital due to an extremely busy period.. (55769115)

"We know that our community is right behind QEH, so today we are asking them to Think NHS 111 first and to consider whether their healthcare need maybe better assessed and treated using an alternative such as NHS 111, their GP or local pharmacy.

"By working together we will be able to ensure that our A&E can care for patients, with life threatening or urgent conditions in a timely manner that we would all expect.”

Cath Byford, chief nurse, NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are urging local people to really think twice when attending A&E. There are many other services that can help for various ailments and injuries.

16 ambulances parked up at the QEH this afternoon (55769093)
16 ambulances parked up at the QEH this afternoon (55769093)

"By thinking of alternative services such as NHS 111 and local pharmacies people can do their bit to keep A&E for real emergencies. At the same time this also means they will get the right treatment in a timely manner, in the most appropriate place for them too.

“It’s vital that people don’t just turn up or walk into A&E or urgent care services without seeking advice from either NHS 111, GP or pharmacist, first – unless of course, your condition is life threatening.”

If you need urgent mental health support, please call First Response on 0808 196 3494. First Response are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Further guidance on when you should go to A&E can be found here

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