15 Pinderfields Hospital patients in Wakefield wait more than an hour for an ambulance across one week

Fifteen patients waiting for emergency treatment at Pinderfields Hospital were forced to wait for more than an hour for an ambulance last week.

By David Spereall
Saturday, 30th January 2021, 7:00 am

The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, which runs the hospital, said a sudden rise in demand over the seven days was responsible for the issues.

The NHS aims to have ambulances despatched to the scene of a 999 call within 15 minutes.

Hospitals who fail to reach a patient within 60 minutes of a call are, under normal circumstances, fined by the Department of Health.

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The trust said measures had been put in place to try to prevent further 60-minute breaches this week.

The trust said that measures had been put in place since last week to ensure there were fewer delays.

There have been no breaches of the 60 minute limit since Monday, January 25.

Speaking at a health scrutiny committee on Thursday, Andrew Smith, an emergency medicine consultant at the trust, said: "It's a metric we measure very closely.

"We should be able to get to patients within 15 minutes.

"I'm pleased to report there's been no breaches this week in the sense that no patients were waiting longer than an hour for an ambulance.

"Last week, I'm afraid, was different."

Mr Smith told the meeting that the "flow" of patients from ambulances into the hospital for treatment had been a problem.

He added: "I hope people understand the complexities of generating flow within the emergency department.

"Maintaining that is a real challenge when the pressures are as high as they have been."

Speaking on Friday, the trust's chief operating officer Trudie Davies asked the public to "support the NHS" by using alternatives to A&E "when appropriate".

Ms Davies said: "Between Monday 18 January and Sunday 24 January 2021 there were 15 occurrences where ambulances were delayed at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

"This is an obvious focus of improvement for the trust. It is our priority to ensure that patients receive high quality and timely patient care. Ensuring we release ambulances is part of this agenda.

"Since Monday, January 25 there have been no occurrences.

"Ambulance delays occur when there is a sudden increase in the number of ambulances attending the emergency department at once.

"Our emergency departments are open for the treatment of serious and potentially life threatening conditions.

"If you need urgent, but not emergency or life-threatening medical help, call 111 for advice.

"NHS 111 will make sure you get the right urgent treatment in the right place.”

Local Democracy Reporting Service