‘Appalling’ queues outside Queen’s Hospital as 100s wait for care in ambulances

Waiting ambulances parked up in Queen's

Waiting ambulances parked up in Queen's - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of people stuck in ambulances outside Queen’s Hospital have waited up to an hour before receiving medical attention, new figures have revealed.

In January this year, 415 patients were forced to wait at least 30 minutes before crews were able to wheel patients into the emergency department at Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford.

Only one other hospital in London had more people waiting for emergency care that month.

The latest figures were uncovered by The Patients’ Forum Ambulance Services - an independent body which monitors the performance of the London Ambulance Service (LAS).

Malcolm Alexander, chairman of LAS Patients Forum, said: “It’s one of the most disgraceful things I have ever come across.

“You might be talking about a vulnerable person waiting five to 10 hours before they’re looked after properly.”

The maximum time permitted under NHS rules for someone to wait outside before being wheeled in to receive care is just 15 minutes.

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In December 2014, the LAS Patients’ Forum found that 244 patients had waited up to an hour outside the hospital.

And in December last year, the hospital also recorded 636 breaches of 30 minute handover wait times.

The forum has blamed rising attendances at A&E, the difficulty hospitals face in discharging elderly patients and the lack of mental health rapid response teams for the “appalling queues”.

Mathew Hopkins, Barking, Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive, said: “We have been working hard to reduce the amount of time patients wait for us to complete handovers with our London Ambulance colleagues.

“This led to significant improvement in the number of patients waiting over an hour – four in the last quarter compared to 46 last year.

“Around 140 ambulances come into our ED every day and throughout May this year there were 4,351 ambulances, an increase of over 400 from the same time last year.”