Ambulance queue chaos at Devon A&E

The state of the NHS in Devon was highlighted today by a student paramedic who took a video as he waited at the back of a queue this afternoon when up to 26 ambulances did not move in six hours.

Colleen Smith www.devonlive.com

The shocked medic wrote: “Currently at the back of a 22 ambulance queue. No movement in 6 hours. Staff are broken, the hospital is full. This is not sustainable. Patients are being affected and so are staff. The NHS in south Devon just broke. There was time to fix this, I don’t think so anymore.”

A member of the public earlier told DevonLive that he had counted 26 ambulances in the queue.

Currently at the back of a 22 ambulance queue. No movement in 6 hours. Staff are broken, the hospital is full. This is not sustainable. Patients are being affected and so are staff. The NHS in south Devon just broke. There was time to fix this, I don’t think so anymore. pic.twitter.com/C4LVPc9fTE

— will P (@willprice999) December 3, 2021

It comes as hospital staff face huge pressures with reports of people waiting for up to 13 hours in A&E at Torbay Hospital. Staff are also reeling today after being told their annual Christmas parties have been cancelled by bosses worried about the new Omicron variant of Covid.

In a statement to DevonLive today, Torbay Hospital said their emergency department has been under “sustained pressure” for several months now and they apologised to anyone waiting for treatment.

The hospital statement in full from Ian Currie, Medical Director at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Like many hospitals across the country, we have been under sustained pressure in our emergency department for several months now.

“Currently extreme pressure is impacting on our ability to admit patients in a timely way which means that ambulances are currently waiting to discharge patients and we are not able to see people as quickly as we would like. We would like to offer our sincere apologies to everyone who is waiting for treatment.

“We always aim to see and treat patients as quickly as possible. All patients arriving at our emergency departments are triaged and assessed with the most clinically urgent being prioritised. This does mean that anyone presenting with less urgent needs is likely to face a very long wait for treatment.

“We are asking everyone to think carefully about which service is right for their needs. Our Urgent Treatment Centre at Newton Abbot is open 8am to 8pm every day and can provide treatment and care for a range of urgent care needs.

“We are working together with local health and care partners to ensure that people who need hospital care can be admitted and then supported to return home safely as soon as they are medically well enough to leave hospital.

“Family and friends of patients can also help by being ready to collect their loved one from hospital when we call, and supporting them when they get home.”

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