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Coronavirus: Up to five-hour bed wait at Pinderfields

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image captionPatients admitted to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield are facing an average wait of between four and five hours for a bed

Patients are facing up to a five-hour wait for a bed amid growing pressure from coronavirus, a hospital has said.

Wakefield's Pinderfields Hospital said it was trying to address the shortage of beds as a priority.

Staff are currently treating 190 coronavirus patients and expect that figure to rise before the impact of lockdown was felt.

Chief executive Martin Barkley said the bed shortage was not just due to the number of Covid-19 patients.

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The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Pinderfields, said the bed pressures were causing delays in accident and emergency.

Mr Barkley told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the number of people attending A&E was about 85 to 90% of normal levels.

"Waiting times are long and in the main that's because there's patients who've been admitted to hospital and are having to stay until a bed becomes available," he said.

"The waiting times and pressures are not due to the people coming in through the front door. It's the slowness out the back door of the hospital. That's what's causing the emergency department to be pretty full."

He said there were also pressures due to the number of patients requiring single bedrooms for treatment.

"As always with these things there's a multitude of factors. If there was a simple answer, it would be straightforward to deal with," he added.

Mr Barkley said he did not want to discourage anyone in need of emergency treatment from coming to hospital despite the pressures it is facing.

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