Almost 1,000 ambulance patients 'waiting more than an hour' for A&E handover in Midlands

Almost 1,000 patients have waited longer than an hour to be handed over from ambulance teams to A&E staff at hospitals in the Midlands in the week to December 12.

University Hospitals Birmingham reported the highest number for an individual trust in the week to December 12 - 472 delays of more than 60 minutes).

Meanwhile, University Hospitals of North Midlands - which runs Royal Stoke University Hospital saw 320 delays of more than an hour.

The figures provide a snapshot of the pressure hospitals in the Midlands are facing heading into the Christmas period.

Across the country, a total of 8,401 delays of over 60 minutes were recorded across all acute trusts, according to figures published by NHS England.

Credit: East Midlands Ambulance Service

This is up slightly from 8,211 in the previous week, and represents 10% of all ambulance arrivals.

A handover delay does not always mean a patient has waited in the ambulance.

They may have been moved into an A&E department, but staff were not available to complete the handover.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director said: "Staff are continuing to go above and beyond looking after thousands of seriously ill covid patients, delivering hundreds of thousands of jabs into arms every day while continuing to deal with higher levels of pressures for this time of the year.

"No one wants to spend more time in hospital than needed, and local NHS services are continuing to work closely with social care providers so patients can be discharged when they’re fit to leave.

"So as the NHS once again ramps up to deal with what is going to be an incredibly challenging winter, the best thing you can do to help is to come forward and get your jab."