Search

NHS ‘still on a knife edge’, says ambulance boss

Ambulances queuing at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital A&E department.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Ambulances queuing at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital A&E department. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

An ambulance boss has said pressures on the NHS are no longer confined to just the winter and are instead seen all year round.

Terry Hicks, who heads up East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST) in Norfolk and Waveney, appeared before county councillors today to answer questions on performance.

Members of Norfolk County Council’s health overview and scrutiny committee questioned Mr Hicks and he admitted pressures which saw crews queued outside hospitals and patients facing long delays had continued past the winter months.

And only now was demand easing on the health service.

Chairman of the committee, Michael Chenery, who represents Docking for the Conservatives, said he had noticed ambulances queuing outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.

He said: “It was only a couple of months ago I heard a remark ‘what are all those ambulance doing outside lined up?’. How is that going now, has that been resolved?”

Mr Hicks said: “I would have to say no, it has not improved, and I think the health system as a whole is really struggling.”

Labour councillor for Town Close, Emma Corlett, added: “You said just now the turnaround problem was not really resolving and now we’re almost into June, so is it realistic to look at winter pressures or is it pressures all year round?”

Mr Hicks said: “I don’t feel there’s a seasonal issue anymore, demand is year round for us.”

He added: “I do feel that the system is under immense pressure and it’s only now beginning to recover. But it’s still on a knife edge as far as I’m concerned.”

It comes after a report, compiled by senior clinicians from local NHS services, concluded no patients died as a result of winter ambulance delays.

The full report has not been released but the trust said three people did suffer severe harm in a three-week period over Christmas and New Year and chief executive Robert Morton said they would learn from each case.

But Ms Corlett pointed out today that problems in the health system extended past the three-week window and into February and March when the region was hit by the Beast from the East.

Other news

Yesterday, 15:41

Dereham’s residents have issued a passionate defence of their town after it was heavily criticised in an article written on a website dedicated to the worst places to live in the UK.

Yesterday, 17:39

Dereham Town Council has expressed concerns after a recent spike in arson incidents in the town.

Yesterday, 16:12

Homes and businesses in rural parts of Norfolk are still suffering from a lack of 4G mobile phone coverage, according to latest figures from Ofcom.

Yesterday, 15:36

More than a quarter of children with eating disorders seen by the region’s mental health trust are waiting too long to begin their treatment, with some having to wait months for care.

Most Read

Yesterday, 15:41

Dereham’s residents have issued a passionate defence of their town after it was heavily criticised in an article written on a website dedicated to the worst places to live in the UK.

Read more
United Kingdom
Yesterday, 17:39

Dereham Town Council has expressed concerns after a recent spike in arson incidents in the town.

Read more
Town Council
Yesterday, 16:12

Homes and businesses in rural parts of Norfolk are still suffering from a lack of 4G mobile phone coverage, according to latest figures from Ofcom.

Read more
Norman Lamb
Yesterday, 15:36

More than a quarter of children with eating disorders seen by the region’s mental health trust are waiting too long to begin their treatment, with some having to wait months for care.

Read more
NHS
Yesterday, 15:22

Staff at Breckland Council have taken part in a cycling challenge inspired by Geraint Thomas’ Tour De France win to raise money for a local cancer charity.

Read more
Breckland Council

Most Commented

Yesterday, 15:41

Dereham’s residents have issued a passionate defence of their town after it was heavily criticised in an article written on a website dedicated to the worst places to live in the UK.

Read more
United Kingdom
Yesterday, 17:39

Dereham Town Council has expressed concerns after a recent spike in arson incidents in the town.

Read more
Town Council
Yesterday, 16:12

Homes and businesses in rural parts of Norfolk are still suffering from a lack of 4G mobile phone coverage, according to latest figures from Ofcom.

Read more
Norman Lamb
Yesterday, 15:36

More than a quarter of children with eating disorders seen by the region’s mental health trust are waiting too long to begin their treatment, with some having to wait months for care.

Read more
NHS
Yesterday, 15:22

Staff at Breckland Council have taken part in a cycling challenge inspired by Geraint Thomas’ Tour De France win to raise money for a local cancer charity.

Read more
Breckland Council

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 12°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Dereham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Dereham Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy