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Ambulances queue for hours as health and care system faces ‘significant challenges’

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A visitor to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital was shocked to see a queue of 15 ambulances waiting outside the Accident and Emergency department last Saturday, September 17th.

Freelance photographer Marc Giddings told Stroud Times: “I had to take my mum in for a minor issue, and a paramedic told me ‘you just have to get used to it.’

“Another said they’d be there for four hours and once their shift finished, they would be replaced with another crew who had to sit with the patient still in the back of the vehicle.”

amb4 | Ambulances queue for hours as health and care system faces 'significant challenges'
Ambulances waiting outside Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. Picture: Marc Giddings.

A joint statement from One Gloucestershire ICS health and care partners said: “The health and care system in Gloucestershire, and nationally, remains under intense pressure and continues to face significant challenges in response to demand. This means that on occasions, during peak periods, patients can wait longer than we would want.

“However, it is important to stress that patients arriving at our Emergency Departments by ambulance are assessed, prioritised and treated based on the severity of their condition.

“Despite high levels of demand, we are determined to provide the best possible advice, care and treatment for everyone who uses our services. One Gloucestershire partners are working more closely than ever before to ensure the journey in and out of hospital is as smooth as it can be.

amb2 | Ambulances queue for hours as health and care system faces 'significant challenges'
Ambulances waiting outside Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. Picture: Marc Giddings.

“Ensuring someone has the right care, support, and services in place, to help them safely begin their journey back to independence can be complex and takes time, as requirements and solutions are bespoke to the individual. A wide range of measures have been put in place to support people to leave hospital when safe to do so with ongoing care support if needed.

“We are also asking relatives and carers to do everything they can to work with us to get their loved ones home from hospital as quickly and as safely as possible, with additional support if necessary, from local NHS community services or adult social care teams.

“As a priority, we are taking forward a longer term urgent and emergency care transformation programme, which will look at best practice and improve the experience and outcomes for people in our county who need our care.

“It’s this spirit of partnership working that will ensure further progress is made, acknowledging that many of the challenges facing urgent and emergency care can only be overcome by working together and are a shared responsibility.

“We would like to thank our fantastic frontline teams across Gloucestershire who continue to work tirelessly to support service users every day under significant pressure.”

amb3 | Ambulances queue for hours as health and care system faces 'significant challenges'
Ambulances waiting outside Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. Picture: Marc Giddings.

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