Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland MP, Tom Blenkinsop, has organised a Westminster Hall adjournment debate (11am, 13th February 2013) to look at accident and emergency provision in North East England and North Yorkshire.
News of excessive delays and queues of ambulances outside hospitals have appeared frequently in the past few months culminating in an emergency meeting of NHS bosses including the North East Ambulance Service and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
“I requested this debate to highlight my concerns over the risk to patient safety posed by longer waits and delays, particularly as growing pressure on hospitals put services under strain. This was clearly demonstrated by research that showed an extra 47,000 patients have waited more than four hours in A&E this winter – a 20% rise on the same period 12 months previously.
“Locally, at one point, we have heard reports of up to 10 ambulances waiting at James Cook University Hospital. Whilst it may be an extreme example, unfortunately it formed just one of the many stories over the past few months.
“I’m pleased that the NHS bosses understand the serious risk posed to patients, so I welcome the news of their meeting to make progress on the issue. However, the debate next week will give me, and colleagues, the opportunity to seek reassurances and highlight our concerns over the direct impact the unnecessary reorganisation and cuts are having on, what is quite literally, the frontline of the NHS.”