Margate A&E 'in crisis' amid 13-hour waits

Image caption Margate's A&E had two doctors looking after 84 patients for part of the day

Patients have had 13-hour waits at an A&E unit facing severe pressure in Kent, the BBC has learned.

There were two doctors on duty at the emergency department at Margate's Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital for part of the day on Sunday.

They had 84 patients who had to be admitted, treated or discharged.

East Kent Hospitals NHS confirmed the figures but said it was working to improve wait times. Kent MP Rosie Duffield said the A&E was in "crisis".

The national A&E waiting time target is four hours.

Canterbury's Labour MP Ms Duffield said: "It's completely unacceptable. Some of those patients are elderly."

She said several people in their 80s had reported waits to her of 10 and 12 hours, and added: "What can you do? The staff are on their knees and it's a complete crisis."

'Recruitment drive'

In a statement, the trust said: "The NHS in east Kent is working with its staff to deliver an improvement plan to reduce waiting times in emergency departments and improve the experience for patients.

"We are recruiting more doctors to work in our emergency departments, expanding treatment areas and treating more types of illness and injury as day cases, without the need to stay in hospital overnight."

East Kent Hospitals NHS had been in special measures since September 2014 - it is still in a financial special measures programme, but was removed from quality special measures in March.

Chief executive Matthew Kershaw left this year to work for a health think tank, and the trust is currently run by acting chief executive Liz Shutler.

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