Hundreds of emergency patients have been waiting too long to be transferred from ambulances to A&E for treatment, new figures show.
A new target requires patients to be handed over to A&E staff within 15 minutes, but that was breached 844 times in May at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.
The trust, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals, has pledged to make improvements after the handover target was breached in almost 20 per cent of cases.
The 15-minute target is a new requirement imposed on hospital trusts by the government this year.
A report to yesterday’s meeting of Mid Yorkshire’s trust board said patient care was affected by delays in handover times.
It said: “In line with the national target for ambulance handover times, it is expected that all hand overs between ambulance and Accident and Emergency services will take place within 15 minutes.
“The timely handover of care between ambulance and Accident and Emergency services is essential in order to secure the delivery of high quality patient care.
“Delays not only indicate inefficiencies within the system, but have the potential to negatively impact on patient outcomes and result in a poor experience of care.
“In May 2013 there were 4,278 ambulance arrivals at Mid Yorkshire.
“Out of these arrivals, 844 waited in excess of 15 minutes for responsibility to pass from ambulance to Trust staff. This is 19.7 per cent.”
Carole Langrick the chief operating officer for Mid Yorkshrie Hospitals Trust, said: “That is tying up resources and the ambulance can’t get out to see other patients when that happens.
“We general find that Sunday, Monday into Tuesday are our peak times.
“These are the times when we are particularly pressured and we need to be better performing in relation to this.”
Mid Yorkshire said action plans had been put in place which would improve ambulance handover times in future.
The board report said monthly regional meetings were also held with Clinical Commissioning Groups, ambulance trusts and hospitals to improve performance.
The report said: “At these meetings, joint actions and improvement programmes are discussed.
“There are also opportunities to acquire best practice from other health communities.”
Weekly performance updates were also being provided to regional NHS bosses, the report said.