Gloucestershire Royal Hospital waiting times stretch to 11 hours at emergency department

  • Watch Ken Goodwin's report

Patients have had to wait 11 hours to be treated at the emergency department at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

There were 99 patients waiting to be treated in the evening on December 28 – each with an average wait time of 11 hours at A&E.

The following morning, there were 92 patients waiting and the average time spent in the department dropped slightly to nine hours.

A paramedic says that the stress on his colleagues is becoming 'unsustainable' following one of the busiest days of the year and Shane Clark, a member of UNISON, said: "It’s putting absolutely awful pressure on our staff, it really is.

The number of people in the A&E department and their average waiting times in the evening on December 28 Credit: ITV West Country

"Day in, day out, the pressures on our members continues to rise. It really does and unfortunately we’re losing staff because of it just because the pressures and strains.

"They’re going off sick through stress and anxiety, and they’re just really struggling.

"I didn’t join the ambulance service to see what I’m seeing now and I certainly didn’t think I’d see it in my career and neither did my members. It’s a really sad time."

On December 29 at Cheltenham General Hospital, there was a one-hour average wait time with 16 people in the queue at the same time.

Gloucestershire Royal Hospital now has 90 patients who have contracted the virus - an increase of 50 per cent from last week.

Shane Clark admits staff are struggling to cope with the demands being placed on them Credit: ITV West Country

It has had to cope with extra ambulances at night as its neighbouring hospital in Cheltenham does not take blue light emergencies after 8pm.

ITV News has been told there were over 30 ambulances waiting at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on December 28.

Professor Mark Pietroni, the medical director at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said staff are working tirelessly to treat patients despite the added pressures.

He said: “Well it’s certainly very, very busy and there’s no doubt that our staff are under incredible pressure. Both SWAST (South Western Ambulance Service) staff in the emergency department, and all of our acute areas.

"What is amazing though is people’s commitment to come in and look after their patients.

Queues of ambulances line up outside the emergency department at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital as patients wait to be treated Credit: ITV West Country

"We are asking a huge amount of all NHS staff and care staff at the moment in this country.

"It’s remarkable how resilient people are but it’s also true to say people are struggling.

"If it wasn’t for their commitment to their patients and their colleagues, many of them would prefer to be having a break at the moment."

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust says the waiting time is based on the average time for patients to be seen in the last hour and reflects the wait to first full assessment and treatment.

It said: "We have a standard to ensure 95 per cent of patients are triaged (assessed and prioritised according to clinical need) by a clinical professional within 15 minutes of arrival in the department."

The Trust regularly urges people to keep A&E clear for real emergencies, directing people to get the right advice or care at or call 111.