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One in four patients on the ambulance was forced to wait 30 minutes outside A&E

A LOT of ambulance patients wait 30 minutes outside A&E – one in ten is stuck for more than an hour.

Hospitals are so busy and locked down that it’s hard for them to battle staff even before Omicron and winter really hit.

Hospitals are so busy and blocked that it's difficult for them to battle staff even before Omicron and winter really hit.

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Hospitals are so busy and blocked that it’s difficult for them to battle staff even before Omicron and winter really hit.Credit: EPA

Ambulance delays are often well above the stated maximum of 15 minutes while a record 10,500 A&E patients had to wait more than 12 hours in trolleys to find a bed last month – double September’s figure.

Dr. Katherine Henderson, of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “Every part of a patient’s journey to emergency care is disrupted.

“The NHS is in a precarious position ahead of Omicron and this cannot continue.”

According to the safety rules, room occupancy should not exceed 85% but the current average is 94%, NHS speak.

At a third of hospitals the rate was 96 per cent while 14 NHS trusts were 99 per cent full last week. But about 10,000 of the 90,000 beds were filled by people who were good enough to leave but who couldn’t because of a lack of care.

Dr. Simon Walsh, of the British Medical Association, said: “Problems in the emergency department are very serious. Hospitals simply do not have the capacity to cope.

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“The issue of freeing patients and moving people to wards has had a strong impact on delays in emergency departments and ambulance services.”

Meanwhile, the surgery waiting list reached 5.98 million in November, the 17th consecutive monthly increase.

NHS medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “NHS staff are dealing with Covid backlog in the face of ongoing pressure to provide urgent care. ”

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/health/16995480/ambulance-patients-stuck-30-minutes-a-and-e/ One in four patients on the ambulance was forced to wait 30 minutes outside A&E

Tom Vazquez

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