HOSPITAL chiefs have launched an investigation after a patient died following a five-hour wait in an ambulance outside the Worcestershire Royal.
The incident took place on October 5 when the patient arrived at the Royal in an ambulance at about 9pm. The Observer understands paramedics became increasingly concerned about the patient’s condition and raised the alarm with Accident and Emergency staff.
Despite being taken into a resuscitation room, the patient then suffered a cardiac arrest and died.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) and West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) confirmed a joint investigation into the circumstances which led to the tragedy had been launched.
A statement said: “We are aware of an incident where a patient died shortly after being taken into the Emergency Department of Worcestershire Royal Hospital on October 5.
“We have launched a joint investigation into the circumstances.
“While that investigation is ongoing it would be inappropriate to say anything further at this stage, other than to express our condolences to the patient’s family, who are being kept fully informed.”
The tragedy is the latest incident of increasing waiting times outside the Royal, despite the Trust’s attempts to ease the pressure by sending some patients from KiddermInster, Stourport and other areas near Worcester to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.
Earlier today (Tuesday) there was a near three hour wait at the Royal’s A&E with just over a two hour wait expected at the Alex.
National guidelines say patients should be transferred from an ambulance to an emergency department and seen within 15 minutes for an initial assessment.
Hospitals will be monitored based on an average time in the department with current measures requiring 95 per cent of A&E patients should then be seen within four hours.
It was introduced in 2004 but has not been successfully met by the NHS in England since 2015