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Cornwall's Ambulance Transfer Delays

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7:02am 27th September 2014

Almost ten patients a day being taken to Treliske by ambulance are having to wait more than half an hour to get into Accident and Emergency.

It happened almost 280 times last month.

Bosses blame the pressure on A&E and say the department is busier than it has been in more than four years.

A report prepared for the Royal Cornwall Hospital's Trust board said: "As noted in previous IPRs, the increased physical size of the RCH ED was expected to mean that resilience improved once the department was expanded.

"Initially, this appeared to be the case, probably also supported by SWAST's periodic implementation of a Standard Operating Procedure which it invokes at times of peak pressure to avoid delays.

"However, August was a very poor month in terms of delays with a total of 277, the second highest of the last few years. This also means that it is no longer an improving position since last year.

"Clearly, this is closely intertwined with the exceptionally poor patient flow through ED this month and the exceptionally high patient numbers, both of which impact on the physical capacity within the department which is the primary cause of ambulance handover delays (ie they occur when there is no space, usually in trolley bay, to accommodate an incoming patient and consequently crews are delayed waiting for space to be made).

"Given the operational challenges that ambulance handover delays cause to partners, close joint working arrangements remain in place between RCHT and SWAST.

"The Trust continues to jointly monitor its ambulance handover reduction plan with SWAST."

7:02am 27th September 2014

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