Home East London Hundreds of east London patients waited an hour in ambulance

Hundreds of east London patients waited an hour in ambulance

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

More than 700 A&E patients waited an unacceptably long time to be seen by a doctor at King George Hospital and Queen’s Hospital between May and November last year.

In the six months from May 1, 393 waited for more than 12 hours on a trolley and 337 spent more than an hour waiting in an ambulance.

In December last year, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), which runs both hospitals, saw nine “serious incidents” caused by treatment delays.

It will be unable to investigate these serious incidents until April 1 this year “due to significant operational pressures”.

The shocking figures were revealed in papers prepared for a BHRUT board meeting held earlier this week.

Read more: Queen’s Hospital to expand ambulance bay due to A&E delays

In November, Redbridge Council was so concerned by Queens Hospital’s A&E performance, called “appalling and inexcusable” by one councillor, that it met with NHS England to discuss the problem.

Following the meeting, the trust’s chief medical officer Magda Smith told the Local Democracy Reporting Service Queen’s had “introduced an Emergency Decision Unit” to speed up “clinical decision making”.

The report for the board meeting on February 9 noted an “ambulance receiving unit” commissioned by the trust “could not be used as the ambulance service was so stretched it could not staff it”.

Figures from December last year show that more than half half of patients attending “type 1” A&E at both hospitals waited longer than four hours to be seen.

Type 1 A&E care treats major emergencies, as opposed to patients that have more minor problems or require specialist care.

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