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Patients wait 20 hours at A&E at Royal Sussex County Hospital
Patients were left waiting more than 20 hours because of major delays still hitting an accident and emergency department.
Ambulances were queuing up outside the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton yesterday because of the huge demand on services. Hospital sources said services across Sussex were “really, really busy at the moment”.
The ambulance service said that the delays were “above what we would normally expect”.
One woman contacted The Argus yesterday afternoon to say: “My dad has been in A&E for 20 hours. He went in on Tuesday tea-time and is still there.
“There are people everywhere. It’s awful. It looks like a war zone.
“There are so many ambulances queuing to get in that they are blocking the car park.”
The hospital was yesterday still on a “code purple alert” meaning non urgent operations and staff leave were still cancelled.
No single reason
A spokesman for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals which runs the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath said there was no single reason for the backlog and it was thought to be down to a number of factors, making the problem more difficult to resolve.
In a statement, the hospital said: “From April 1 to December 31 2012 almost 3,000 more people attended our emergency departments than for the same period in the previous year.
“Of course when patients need to be admitted from the emergency department we strive to do this as quickly as possible, but when the hospital is as busy as it has been in recent months, the reality is that there is not always a bed immediately available for them to be admitted into.
“Patients who we have to hold in the emergency department until they can be admitted are made as comfortable as possible and regularly monitored.
“We are acutely aware this is happening too often and we are working extremely hard to create more capacity within the hospital and the community which will in turn allow us to admit every patient as soon as it is clinically appropriate to do so.”
A spokesman for South East Coast Ambulance Ser- vice (SECamb) said: “Both the hospital and ourselves are very, very busy and today we have had a number of ambulances waiting considerably longer at A&E than we would like to.”
Have you suffered delays at the Royal Sussex County Hospital? Call The Argus newsroom on 01273 544519.
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