ALTNAGELVIN Hospital in Derry is operating at full capacity with some patients awaiting admission to Northern Ireland hospitals having to face hours in an ambulance.
The hospital is feeling the strain with over half of the patients in the hospital’s intensive care unit being treated for Covid-19.
The situation is replicated across the North with a queue of ambulances waiting at several hospitals and patients treated in the car parks.
Dr Nigel Ruddell, the Medical Director at the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, told the Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Foyle that the queues of ambulances ‘far exceeded anything we have seen before’.
Dr Ruddell said that there have been instances were patients have been in the back of an ambulance for up to 12 hours.
“It is disheartening for paramedics to watch a patient essentially stuck in the ambulance,” he said.
“They are receiving care in the back of the ambulance and we all recognise that it is far from ideal.
“They are wearing full PPE so it is physically and mentally exhausting.
“All they want to do is the best by their patient.”Tags: