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Gridlock as record number of ambulances queue at A&E in England


The extent of the gridlock in hospitals over Christmas has been revealed, with data in England showing record numbers of ambulances delayed dropping off patients at A&E.

More than 40% of crews were forced to wait at least half an hour to hand over patients in the week up to 1 January.

That is the highest level since records began a decade ago.

But there is hope pressures could soon start easing, with flu and Covid admissions dropping last week.

But the UK Health Security Agency is warning it is too early to say whether the flu season - the worst in a decade - has peaked, because reporting lags over the festive period may have affected the data.

And Matthew Taylor, of the NHS Confederation, which represents hospitals, said wards were still incredibly full, which was creating delays in A&E and for ambulances.

He said hospitals were facing "crisis conditions" that were presenting a risk to patients.

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Source: BBC News, 5 January 2023

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