Medical staff are continuing to find it hard to cope with high numbers of patients at six hospitals in England.
The situations at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals, Cheltenham General Hospital, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, The Royal Stoke University Hospital, Scarborough Hospital and Stafford Hospital are all currently classed as major incidents.
Ambulance crews ‘locked out’ of hospital
The doors of the Accident and Emergency department at Royal Stoke University Hospital were closed and locked, according to a paramedic, and planned surgery has also been affected at the West Midlands hospital.
The paramedic, Stuart Gardiner, said he was locked out and the West Midlands Ambulance management had to ring the hospital to ask that he be let in. He says ambulance staff have been shut out of the hospital four times in the past.
So far the hospital has not commented about the fact ambulance staff could not get in but the chief executive, Mark Hackett, confirmed around 90 people from the local community suffering with pneumonia needed beds at the hospital.
He said it wasn’t a local issue, but the demand for hospital services tends to be higher this time of the year all over the country.
‘Only go to A&E when absolutely necessary’
Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire, is not one of the hospitals currently classed as a major incident but its deputy director of operations, Tina White, described the situation as worse than any point in the 34 years she has worked there.
She says people should not go to A&E unless they really need to.
The demand for A&E services at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford has never been greater but staff working there stopped short of calling it a major incident despite the fact they are under huge pressure.
There are internal incidents at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital.
NHS England has a four-hour waiting time target for its A&E departments, which it missed last year and the overall performance was at its lowest for 10 years.
Hospital negligence claims
Patients are sometimes entitled to compensation if they suffer because of delays to treatment in A&E departments and you can seek advice on making negligence claims by contacting Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no obligation legal advice about making a claim.