MORE than half a dozen ambulances have have been spotted queuing to hand over patients to A&E at Worcester’s hospital for the second time this week.

The emergency department at the crisis-hit Worcestershire Royal Hospital is under extreme pressure due to high patients numbers.

A total of seven West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) vehicles were seen queuing on Monday and a further eight were spotted at 11am on Tuesday.

Monday was West Midlands Ambulance Service’s busiest day on record and Worcester News also received reports of congestion around the hospital the same day.

Paramedics are supposed to hand over patients to doctors at the emergency department within 15 minutes of arrival.

Labour city councillor Richard Udall, who covers the St John’s area of the city, was contacted by residents about the queuing ambulances.

He said: “It is shocking that once again our accident and emergency unit is in crisis.

“We have an A&E unit that was built for a small city but is now serving a whole county.

“While ambulances are queuing they can’t help other patients who need their emergency support.

“The local members of parliament can no longer walk by on the other side, they need to act, they need to support the local services and ensure that action is taken to restore confidence, trust and adequate funding to our health service.

“Everybody I speak to will always pay tribute to the hard working staff, but they are operating under extreme pressure and with the best will in the world, mistakes will happen.”

A spokesperson for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “In common with health services locally and nationally, our services continue to face very high levels of demand driven, in part, by the recent spell of severe weather.

“Staff in our Emergency Departments (EDs), and their colleagues in wards and departments across our trust are working hard to care for large numbers of very seriously-ill patients and we would like to thank them for the dedication and commitment they continued to show during the recent snow to keep our services running.

“We have seen a year-on-year increase in people coming through our emergency departments and with higher than expected numbers of seriously ill patients arriving by ambulance every day, we have experienced periods of considerable pressure. Despite this, far fewer patients are having to endure long waits to be admitted to a ward.

“We are continuing to work with our partners in other local NHS organisations and the council to make sure all the health and care facilities in the county are being used to best effect so that patients can be offered suitable alternatives.” to ED where possible, and also to ensure that any patients in our hospitals who are medically fit can be discharged in a safe and timely manner to free up beds

“We would appeal to local people to play their part by following advice on using health services wisely

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: "In recent days the Trust has experienced an incredibly high level of demand, with Monday being the busiest day ever in the Trust’s history when more than 5,000 999 calls were received. Unfortunately, at times of peak demand, delays do occur at some hospitals.

"West Midlands Ambulance Service continues to work closely with all hospitals in the region to tackle such issues and operates a number of measures to help ensures ambulances are able to offload patients as quickly as possible.

"The trust’s strategic operations cell continuously monitors the level of demand at each hospital so that potential delays can be highlighted early and resolved.

“In addition, the Trust uses Hospital Ambulance Liaison Officers to help minimise delays and ensure ambulances are free to respond to the next 999 call as quickly as possible.

“We would urge everyone to only call 999 for life-threatening injuries or illnesses in order to ensure we are free to deal with those patients who really need our help.”

Residents are urged to consider if their visit to A&E is necessary.

To find out the opening hours of your local Minor Injury Unit visit