Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Ambulance queues at Portsmouth A&E lead to 999 delays

Ambulances at QA
Image caption The ambulance service said 13 of its 23 ambulances for East Hampshire were waiting at the Queen Alexandra Hospital

Patients have waited for up to seven hours in ambulances queuing outside the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

The South Central Ambulance Service said more than half of its ambulances serving East Hampshire were waiting to hand over patients at 17:00 BST.

It said the queues would mean a delayed response to some 999 calls.

The hospital said the problem was caused by "extremely high demand" on the emergency department.

A spokesperson said it was working to resolve the issue, which followed "a marked and significant increase in the numbers of hospital attendances".

Image caption Ambulance delays at the hospital were highlighted in a report by the Care Quality Commission in June

The ambulance service said queues had occurred in Portsmouth over the "last couple of weeks" and were not affecting other hospitals.

A spokesman said 13 ambulances were tied up at the hospital at 17:00, leaving 10 ambulances and eight rapid response vehicles to respond to emergency calls elsewhere in East Hampshire.

He said a senior ambulance manager had been dispatched to the hospital to try to speed up the handover process.

In June, the hospital's A&E service was rated "inadequate" by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which found sixteen ambulances stacking up outside the department.

The CQC said vulnerable patients were left waiting in ambulances for more than two hours.

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