Queue of 20 ambulances outside Royal Cornwall Hospital as Covid rise sees visiting suspended

  • The NHS Trust's chief executive Steve Williamson spoke to ITV News

Ambulances have been queueing outside of the Royal Cornwall Hospital after a rise in Covid cases saw the NHS trust which runs it suspend all visiting.

While ITV News crews were at the hospital this afternoon, there were 20 ambulances waiting outside of A&E.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust says there are 100 patients in the hospital who are medically fit to be discharged but have nowhere to go.

The hospital has also suspended visiting due to a "significant increase" in Covid cases which is increasing pressure on its services with "many wards" unable to take new admissions due to Covid patients.

It currently has 84 patients who have coronavirus.

Visiting for maternity, neonatal and paediatrics remain unchanged.

Queues at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Credit: ITV

The NHS Trust's chief executive Steve Williamson said the hospital works "really closely" with South Western Ambulance Service to minimise delays for patients.

“What we’re seeing with those ambulances outside our hospital are a reflection of the Covid challenge we face, and the challenge of more than 100 patients in our hospital waiting for discharge into residential care or home care," he added.

"Those ambulances are waiting for access into the emergency department and of course the emergency department is waiting for beds to become available.

"Our ambulance colleagues will always assess and triage the person they’re attending, those patients are rapidly assessed and the most urgent patients can come straight into the emergency department.

"Those patients who are more stable might wait for a period of time inside the ambulance.”