Ambulance crews were left waiting to pass on their patients to A&E staff at Pinderfields Hospital on average for 19 hours a day every day during March, new figures have shown.
The YEP can reveal that under pressure hospitals across the region have been forced to delay the handover of patients as growing attendances to A&E and delayed discharges push units to capacity.
Pinderfields had the longest ‘hospital turnaround’ delays in Yorkshire in March, before daily delays of 11 hours in April and 13 hours in May were recorded by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS).
A report by YAS found “excessive time lost at hospitals has remained high” meaning long delays in Mid Yorkshire as well as hospitals in Hull, Scarborough and Sheffield are “impacting” on its own performance.
YAS has failed to meet the national target of reaching 75 per cent of the most serious 999 calls within eight minutes for many months. Since December, Red 1 response within the target time has been below 70 per cent, with the most recent statistics for April showing it did so in 69.7 per cent of cases.
Dr David Macklin, executive director of operations at YAS, said effective handovers between ambulance crews and hospital staff are “an integral part of delivering the best clinical care for patients”.
He said that delays during busy periods are understandable but YAS is working with hospitals to minimise any impact on patients.
Dr Sarah Robertshaw, head of clinical service emergency medicine at Mid Yorkshire, said it takes the delays “very seriously” and work has been done to streamline the process.
She added: “The trust is continuing to explore other methods which can be used to expedite handover while ensuring patients remain safe.”