Patients are forced to wait in the back of an ambulance for FIVE HOURS after a massive surge in 999 calls has been reported.
Twenty ambulances ‘were waiting outside Leicester Royal Infirmary on Friday’ with one paramedic taking to social media to say patients waited five hours for treatment. The added pressure of coronavirus patients on usual winter admission’s are being blamed.
The area’s ambulance service has now reportedly put an emergency divert in place to send patients to other hospitals in a bid to prevent another build-up. Hospital staff have also reportedly pleaded with residents in the area not to call for an ambulance unless it is absolutely necessary.
According to Leicestershire Live, one under-pressure paramedic took to social media to issue a plea. The paramedic said: ‘It soon became a 5-hour wait on the back of ambulances. Imagine your loved one sat on the back of an ambulance for that long. Next time you ring 999, think, do you REALLY need an ambulance?’
Another unnamed medic told the website: ‘I can’t remember it ever being that busy before. Ambulances were diverted. I can’t think of a time we’ve ever had to turn patients away.’
A spokesperson for Leicester’s Hospitals said: “Each winter, healthcare systems face increased demand for services and this year, we have the added complexities and challenges of managing the care of patients with Covid-19.
“The end of last week was particularly busy at Leicester’s Hospitals with large numbers of patients with complex illnesses needing our care. Unfortunately, this meant delays for some patients in being seen in the Emergency Department, including for some arriving by ambulance. We are sorry to anyone who was affected by this.
“Patient safety is our priority and our staff work incredibly hard to ensure the best possible care despite the challenging circumstances. Any patients waiting are regularly assessed and people are seen according to clinical priority. We have escalation plans and processes in place to support us when we need them, including working with system and regional partners to ensure patients are seen as safely and quickly as possible.”
The hospital urged people to call NHS 111 for clinical advice and only use A&Es for potentially life-threatening emergencies and very serious conditions.
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