Jeremy Hunt to look into Teesside hospital ambulance delays

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is to investigate why ambulances were affected by delays at Middlesbrough's James Cook Hospital over Christmas.

Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop challenged the government to explain why 49 ambulances were delayed between 19 December and 1 January.

Mr Hunt said he will look into the concerns "to make sure the local NHS trust is doing everything it should."

The South Tees NHS Trust said waiting times were "steadily improving".

Mr Hunt added that the services are "doing very well in the circumstances".

Sue Watson the operations services director from South Tees NHS Trust said the trust's overall performance has been "steadily improving over the last 12 months".

She said: "This time last year, there were a significant number of problems with ambulance delays, but there are many fewer than there were.

"We're not happy with that and we're continuing to work with ambulance colleagues and with local authority colleagues."

Mr Blenkinsop, the MP for Middlesborough South and East Cleveland, added: "168 beds were 'blocked' and 82%, rather than the government's target of 90% of admitted patients, were treated within 18 weeks."

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