'Unprecedented' number of ambulances arrive at Nottingham's QMC

The Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham
The Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham -Credit:Nottingham Post/Ian Hodgkinson

Nottingham's hospitals are experiencing 'tremendous pressure' due to an unprecedented influx of patients arriving by ambulance. Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust reported that a staggering 203 ambulances arrived at the Queen's Medical Centre on Tuesday, May 7, equating to roughly one every fifteen minutes.

Chief Operating Officer Lisa Kelly expressed her concern, stating it was the first time she had witnessed such numbers. She highlighted the immense strain on hospitals this week, a situation mirrored across the region.

The trust's Chief Executive, Anthony May, added: "Urgent and emergency care pathways are still under a great deal of pressure. It is always difficult after a Bank Holiday, so this may not be typical."

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The trust is yet to provide further details on how these figures compare to a regular day.

At a trust board meeting on Thursday, May 8, there were questions around how the trust would cope with winter pressures given the high demand seen this week.

Ms Kelly said: "We have already had winter capacity meetings to prepare for surges this winter. "We have had a fairly light flu winter and are preparing for a more challenging position with more pressure on patient beds.

The Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham
The Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham -Credit:Nottingham Post/Ian Hodgkinson

"The sooner we make decisions around workforce and staff on additional wards, the better. This winter was the first since 2016 [we] kept same level of elective care and didn't flip wards. We can't be sure that will happen this year.

"As the financial climate gets more challenging for everyone, we need to ensure there is appropriate capacity and discharge. It remains a risk for the trust."

Problems at the Queen's Medical Centre have recently been highlighted as the cause of the biggest delays for East Midlands Ambulance Service. Ambulance staff spent 3,500 hours parked outside the hospital in March, waiting to handover their patients, due to lack of beds inside the hospital.

Dr Keith Girling, medical director at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, previously said: "We continue to ask the public to help by using NHS services wisely. If it is not a life-threatening emergency, please use alternative services where possible, including NHS 111 online, pharmacies or urgent treatment centres."