Patients waiting hours in ambulances outside Peterborough City Hospital as A&E performance plummets

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The A&E performance at the trust which runs Peterborough City Hospital has plummeted over the past 12 months while patients are also said to be waiting for up to six hours on ambulances before being admitted.

The percentage of A&E patients treated, discharged or admitted within four hours at the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust has reduced from 92.6 per cent in October 2018 to 75.8 per cent in October 2019 - well below the 95 per cent national target.

A recent photo of stacked ambulances at Peterborough City Hospital

A recent photo of stacked ambulances at Peterborough City Hospital

And in further worrying news with winter just around the corner, the number of ambulance hours lost from transferring patients at the city hospital has increased from 312 in October 2018 to more than 886 in October 2019, with ambulances seen stacked up outside.

One medical professional, who wished to remain 
anonymous, said a patient had been left waiting on an ambulance for six hours due to a lack of staff and lack of beds.

Graham Wilde, chief operating officer for the hospital trust, which runs A&E departments at both the city hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital, said it is working closely with community partners to “regain our performance”.

He added: “As has already been widely reported in the national news, all hospitals between October 2018 and October 2019 have experienced significant increases in activity.

“This, along with other challenges such as staff shortages, has resulted in a decline in overall performance for our trust.”

Handing over a patient from an ambulance to a hospital emergency department is expected to take no more than 15 minutes.

A spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “It remains a busy time of year across the health service and some patients have waited longer than is ideal.

“Patient experience and safety is our top priority when our clinicians are waiting to handover to hospital staff.

“We are working with our NHS partners to achieve the best outcome for all our patients as we manage these waits.”