A HOSPITAL trust has sent its condolences to a family whose relative died after being kept waiting in an ambulance outside Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

The man, who had been waiting for an hour in the ambulance, went into cardiac arrest while waiting to be seen.

In a joint statement issued on behalf of West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of the trust, said they are looking into the circumstances surrounding the case and have sent their condolences to the man's family.

Mr Hopkins said: “We have sent our condolences to the patient’s family and we are keeping them fully informed. We know that on the night in question there were a number of ambulances waiting longer than we would want outside Worcestershire Royal Hospital, despite the best efforts of staff in our Emergency Departments (EDs) who work extremely hard to ensure that our patients get the best, safest care possible.”


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The incident happened on November 27.

Mr Hopkins claims positive action is being taken but recognises there is still more to be done. The hospital trust said it has put in place procedures designed to support ambulance crews and protect patient safety if ambulances are waiting. These measures include nurses carrying out regular checks on board to support crews and patients.

Mr Hopkins added: “Reducing waits and improving ambulance handovers is our number one quality and safety improvement priority and we will continue to work to deliver the improvements that are needed, not just in our hospitals but across our health and care system with our partner organisations."

A Care Quality Commission (CQC) report was released on September 20 this year.

The report said: “Patients were not always protected from avoidable harm. There were significant handover delays for patients arriving by ambulance.

“The layout of the emergency department was not suitable for the number of admissions the service received. There was significant overcrowding, and, at times, patients were being cared for on trolleys along corridors.

“Patients could not access care and treatment in a timely way. Waiting times for treatment and arrangements to admit, treat and discharge patients were worse than the England average and national standard.”