Paramedics forced to wait outside a hospital for 2.5hours for beds to become available for their patients
Paramedics said they had to wait anything from 15 minutes to 2.5hours for bed to become available for patientsReview now being carried out at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough
15:58 GMT, 3 October 2012
Paramedics were forced to wait outside a hospital for two-and-a-half hours
until beds became available for their patients, it has been revealed.
A review is being carried out after extra staff had to be drafted in to the
James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, to help ease the pressure on A&E.
Seven pre-planned operations also had to be cancelled at the hospital over 27 and 28 of September.
A spokeswoman for James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough (pictured) said the increased demand could not have been anticipated at the end of September
Concerns were raised by ambulance crews who claimed to have been left off the road for up to two-and-a-half hours while waiting for a bed.
One paramedic said a normal wait would be 10-15 minutes, with two-and-a-half hours the worst they said they had known.
The whole of the North-east was said to have been busy for admissions on
Thursday with the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) saying Middlesbrough was most under strain.
The ambulance service said in one hour alone they received 999 calls for four ‘Red 1’ incidents – the most serious classification of calls, where patients have suffered either a cardiac arrest or have stopped breathing.
Normally they would expect to receive one or two.
Spokeswomen for both James Cook University Hospital and the NEAS said the sudden increased pressure could not have been anticipated.
Patients were left waiting in ambulances to be admitted to the hospital (file picture)
Last week’s flooding was ruled out as a cause.
A spokeswoman for the NEAS said: 'The North East Ambulance Service works closely with colleagues in hospitals across the North-east to try and minimise any handover delays.
'We do this by trying to anticipate any peaks in demand, and make the necessary arrangements.
'However some busy periods cannot be anticipated.'