Exclusive: Midlands A&Es faced with ambulance wait times of almost 15 hours, figures show

The exclusive figures obtained by ITV News Central revealed wait times of up to almost 15 hours. Credit: PA

A&E patients in the Midlands experienced ambulance handover times of up to 15 hours last year, according to exclusive figures obtained by ITV News Central.

West Midlands Ambulance Service revealed in a Freedom of Information request how hundreds of patients faced an average wait time of seven hours or more.

The wait time at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in November 2021 was 14 hours and 57 minutes.

Meanwhile, The Good Hope Hospital, the QE, the Princess Royal, the Worcestershire Royal and Heartlands hospitals also recorded wait times of more than 10 hours.

ITV News Central reported on the 'worsening situation' in January last year, but pressure from the ongoing pandemic means times have only increased.

It comes as West Midlands Ambulance Service appeals for former and retired paramedics to return to work to help ease pressure.

Paramedic Richard Jones left his desk job and rejoined the Ambulance Service at the start of the pandemic.

The past few months have been 'really difficult', paramedic says

Mr Jones explains how he left the service to work in an office, but when he was sent to work from home in March 2020 he thought "I can't let the NHS down".

He said he has "no regrets" but the past few months have been "really difficult".

"This time of year anyway we've always had an increase in case numbers" he explains, "we've got more respiratory illnesses that we need to deal with an obviously covid affects the lungs."

Mr Jones said there has been a big increase in the number of calls the service is receiving and "more people are suffering".

"It's been difficult with people waiting at hospital and crews going off sick as well" he adds, "we're doing our best, we're coming together and my colleagues in the NHS are all working hard to make it work."