Directors of a major hospital have ordered their accident and emergency staff to continue receiving ambulance patients into their department “in all instances”, following angry exchanges with paramedics.
Hospital staff and ambulance crews have clashed at the new Royal Liverpool Hospital since its opening last month, after ambulance crews were prevented from bringing patients inside accident and emergency department when it was deemed to be full to capacity.
The problems were escalated to hospital directors and North West Ambulance Service Trust earlier this month, resulting in new instructions being issued to the emergency department.
In a letter to managers in A&E and the other divisions, seen by HSJ, the three most senior directors at the Royal Liverpool, wrote: “As you are aware we are currently experiencing long delays in accepting handover of patients from ambulance crews.
“This phenomenon is not unique to us at the Royal Liverpool, nor is it particularly new, but our recent challenges have undoubtedly been exacerbated due to teams still familiarising themselves with working in a new environment and the patient flow challenges we have been experiencing on site.
“However, what has changed has been the extent to which we have managed these pressures by continuing to hold patients in the back of ambulances, which we collectively agree is an unacceptable situation. Whilst providing corridor care is not what any of us would aspire to, we have to recognise and respond to the risk of patients awaiting response in the community.
“We have therefore today met with NWAS colleagues and agreed that, with immediate effect, we will, in all instances, continue to receive crews from NWAS into the hospital building.”
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Source: HSJ, 16 November 2022
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