Three hour back-of-ambulance wait for Leicester A&E

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Media captionMs White took a video of 15 ambulances queuing to hand over patients in Leicester

The daughter of an 84-year-old man who had to wait in the back of an ambulance for three hours before being admitted to hospital has written an open complaint letter to the prime minister.

Annie White's father, John, was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) after a fall on Tuesday and had to wait in a queue of about 15 ambulances.

Ms White said it was an "upsetting eye opener that the NHS was under-funded and unsupported".

The hospital has apologised.

Image copyright Annie White
Image caption Annie White (far left) said paramedics kept her and her mother and father (right), from Barwell, in good spirits

Ms White, from Hinckley, said: "It was upsetting more than anything. I felt mostly for the staff because it was so busy that night. They were really stretched to the limit."

The 24-year-old added that paramedics remained with them and nurses kept coming over to check on them.

"The nurses were tired - it is disappointing seeing how much they go through.

"I remember one paramedic saying 'if it keeps up at this rate there will end up not being any ambulances out on the roads'".

In her letter posted on Facebook, Ms White said about 175 people filled the seats in A&E and a board claimed there was a six to seven hour waiting time.

"We found ourselves sharing a bay with another patient, as we watched paramedics around us having to complete nurses' tasks because emergency nurses positions are understaffed," Ms White wrote.

Image copyright Annie White
Image caption Ms White took a video of 15 ambulances queuing to hand patients over in Leicester

Chief executive at Leicester's Hospitals John Adler said: "I would like to apologise to Miss White, her family and everyone else who has had to wait longer than normal for treatment in our Emergency Department or who has had their operation cancelled.

"Like every hospital across the country, we have been very busy over the Christmas and New Year period."

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Theresa May apologised to patients and NHS bosses announced the cancellation of tens of thousands of non-urgent operations in an attempt to ease the pressure on hospitals.

Ambulance delays

Ambulances are meant to be able to handover patients to A&E staff within 15 minutes.

Figures from between 20 November and 31 December 2017:

Region Total ambulances Delayed over 30 minutes (%) Delayed over 60 minutes (%)
East Midlands 40261 20 5
East of England 55728 18 5
North West 86627 17 6
West Midlands 69614 15 2
South East 85821 15 3
Yorkshire and The Humber 60372 10 2
London 94300 9 1
North East 26040 7 2
South West 53482 5 1
England 572245 13 3

NHS England

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