Socialist Worker

Ambulances queue up at hospitals threatened by cuts

by Sarah Ensor
Issue No. 2337

Ambulances queued outside hospitals across northern England before being able to hand patients over to hospital staff in December and January.

At James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough paramedics described frequent “dangerous” waits.

Ambulances have also been unable to get patients into overcrowded A&Es at Wythenshawe, North Manchester General, Royal Oldham, Rochdale Infirmary and Fairfield Hospital.

These are all in Greater Manchester, where seven A&Es are set to close.

One of those under threat is Tameside. In the last ten days of December, 113 ambulance patients had to wait there for more than half an hour.

Paramedics cared for people in waiting rooms until hospital staff were free.

Staff from the ambulance services of Yorkshire and North East reported delays at most hospitals. This includes Scarborough Hospital, which was among 17 hospitals described last week as having dangerously low staffing levels.

Ambulances have come from Lancashire to cover other emergencies.

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Tue 22 Jan 2013, 17:05 GMT
Issue No. 2337
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