NEWS
01/02/2018 12:47 GMT | Updated 01/02/2018 12:59 GMT

NHS Winter Crisis: Number Of Ambulances Being Diverted From ‘Full’ A&E Departments In Winter More Than Doubles

NHS under pressure.

The number of ambulances being turned away from A&E departments and having to divert to others has more than doubled in the past week.

A broken CT scanner at one hospital accounted for many of the 43 incidences in the last seven days, compared with 20 previously, NHS England said.

Weekly winter statistics show that the number of patients forced to wait in ambulances at A&E departments for more than half an hour were up from 11,000 the previous week to 11,100. Of these, 2,100 patients had to wait more than an hour to be seen after arriving at hospitals in England.

PA Wire/PA Images
The number of ambulance diverts has more than doubled in the past week (file picture) 

Flu and norovirus are continuing to put a strain on services, with 155 confirmed flu-related deaths this winter.

NHS data shows a fall in the number of bed closures due to norovirus or diarrhoea and vomiting, from an average of 742 per day to 672, but reports of norovirus remain above the five-year average for this week.

An NHS England spokesman said: “Raised levels of flu and norovirus cases continued to put pressure on busy hospitals and other frontline services last week.

“And while the NHS is generally coping with ongoing winter demands, the public can continue to play their part by using NHS 111 and pharmacists for advice.”