Half of Leicestershire's ambulances 'parked outside hospital'

Leicester Royal Infirmary
Image caption Keith Vaz MP said 856 patients had to wait between two and four hours to be handed over from an ambulance to Leicester Royal Infirmary in the last year

Almost half of a county's ambulances were parked outside one hospital at the same time, an MP has claimed.

Keith Vaz said 10 of Leicestershire's 25 ambulances were waiting at Leicester Royal Infirmary on 24 January.

The MP for Leicester East asked the government what help would be offered to the hospital after 856 patients had to wait between two and four hours for a handover in the last year.

Health Minister Ben Gummer said the problem would be fixed by next year.

Image caption East Midlands Ambulance Service recently met with Leicester Eat MP Keith Vaz

Mr Vaz wrote to the government to ask what help could be offered after recently meeting East Midlands Ambulance Service bosses.

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"On Sunday, January 24, 10 ambulances were parked outside A&E at the Royal Infirmary - 10 out of 25 in the whole of Leicestershire trying to handover patients to the staff," Mr Vaz said.

"On 856 occasions in the last year, there had to be a wait of between two and four hours to handover those patients."

Mr Vaz added that at Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre, just 17 patients had to wait for between two and four hours.

The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust recently reported that almost every bed across its three hospitals was full and said staff had volunteered to work extra shifts to help out.

Mr Gummar, who said the NHS nationally had dealt with winter pressures better this year, replied: "You raise issues which have been severe in Leicester and I'm aware of them."

He added:: "I'd like to reassure you that it'll be fixed in time for next year."

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