Ambulances filmed queuing outside Essex hospital A&E as NHS crisis deepens

Consultants 'wandering around the ambulances trying to ascertain what they can do'

Harriet Agerholm
Friday 05 January 2018 18:39
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Ambulances shown in queue outside Chelmsford hospital in Facebook Live

Ambulances have been filmed queueing outside an hospital in Chelmsford, reportedly containing patients who are waiting for beds to become free.

Leah Butler-Smith, who captured the footage, said her mother suffered a stroke earlier this week and was taken to Broomfied Hospital in an ambulance.

When she arrived, she said she had to wait in a queue for four hours before doctors could see her.

"We are tenth outside all in ambulances containing patients currently waiting to be admitted to the hospital," Ms Butler-Smith wrote on Facebook, as they waited in the queue.

"My mother has a fever and has had a stroke. There are 25 or more ambulances and urgent patients waiting outside at this hospital alone.

She added that consultants were "wandering around the ambulances trying to ascertain what they can do".

Staff at the hospital seemed "overwhelmed" and "deeply hurt" that patients were having to wait outside, she said.

She added that the state of the hospital was "heartbreaking"

Capacity at NHS hospitals has been stretched more than ever over Christmas with fewer beds available across England, despite the Prime Minister claiming extra funding and extensive planning meant it was better prepared.

Average bed occupancy across all trusts jumped to 91.7 per cent between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve compared to 90 per cent occupancy in the same week last year, The Independent’s analysis showed.

This is well above the recommended safe operating levels of 85 per cent occupancy, above which hospital infections and “bed crises” become more common.

Theresa May apologised to patients after NHS hospitals were told to postpone thousands of operations in January.

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