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Hospitals trigger emergency measures as patients wait 13 hours in the back of ambulances

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An NHS trust has spent more than two weeks running on emergency measures after skyrocketing demand since mid-September, while others have kept people waiting for more than a dozen hours in the backs of ambulances.

The Independent has learnt one patient in the West Midlands spent 13 hours waiting to be handed over to staff at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust.

Gloucester Hospitals Trust declared its internal incident on 19 September and only stood it down on 5 October, while London’s Barnet Hospital took similar extraordinary action on Monday due to high demand. And at North Middlesex Hospital staff saw more than 200 patients crowd into the emergency department on Monday afternoon.

Declaring an internal incident is designed to activate measures that help hospitals deal with a sudden peak of demand and should only last for a short time.

Such pressures are being felt across the country with NHS managers seriously concerned about what the coming months will look like as temperatures dip. One said they had not seen things as bad in more than a decade.

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Source: The Independent, 13 October 2021

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