Patients at Blackpool Victoria Hospital have shared videos and photos of up to 20 ambulances stuck queuing outside the A&E department.

Photos of queuing ambulances have circulated on social media over the past few days with people sharing details of their ‘horrendous’ experiences visiting A&E.

According to one woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, the waiting rooms at the hospital were ‘absolute chaos’, claiming that one elderly woman waited in the corridor for 37 hours.

On Boxing Day, the woman was advised by The Christie to take her son with stage four cancer to the hospital as he was experiencing chest pains. She was advised that an ambulance would be a five hour wait so drive down herself.

She said: “When I got there, he was seen in triage quite quickly – that wasn’t the issue which was brilliant because when I got there, the place was absolutely full, it was heaving. There wasn’t a single seat in A&E all day, it was just ridiculous.”

The mum and son arrived at around 11:30am in the morning, but only had a CT scan at 2am the following morning (December 28), when they found a blood clot on his right lung.

“They admitted him yesterday, but there was lady on a bed with a fractured spine who had been there two days.  There were people in corridors that shouldn’t have been there, and a lady with dementia who kept getting up to have a walk around. She had no clothes on, just a hospital gown.

“I go in there a lot with my children because they all play sports and get a lot of injuries, but I’ve never seen it so bad in my whole life.

“At one point, there must’ve been about 20 ambulances outside of A&E, queuing to even get into hospital grounds.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

The woman said that when she arrived, there were 133 patients waiting to be seen and by the time she left at around 4am on December 27, the number had jumped to around 140 people.

She added: “The NHS is falling apart. I saw one nurse crying. I just feel really sorry for all the nurses, paramedics and other staff. They’re working so hard and were brilliant but they can’t manage like this.”

Yesterday, a nurse at Blackpool Victoria, who does not want to be named, contacted Lytham St Anne’s News. She said: “Please make people aware of the situation at the Vic…no space anywhere to off load the ambulances and poorly patients waiting 30 to 40 hours for a bed unless an emergency.

“Please stay away from A&E… it’s a shambles at the moment there’s ambulances everywhere waiting to off load patients. It needs to be made aware to the public what really is happening.”

This chaos comes a week after North West Ambulance service across Lancashire and the wider county walked out in a bid to secure better working conditions and pay.

On December 27, Blackpool Emergency Department shared a video of their staff at Blackpool Teaching Hospital. Samantha Gardner, a nurse at the hospital, said: “Our colleagues in the emergency department and across the hospital are working extremely hard to care for a large number of patients and unfortunately this means if you have to visit A&E, dependant on your condition, you may face long waits.

“Please be assured that our amazing NHS colleagues place patient safety as their number one priority and we are taking the necessary action to maintain the safety, care, and dignity of all patients who arrive at our hospital.”

Responding to the long waits in recent days, Steve Christian, deputy chief executive at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The A&E remains extremely busy as we are seeing high numbers of people attending for treatment, while our wards are also struggling to discharge people who are ready to go home. This situation is one reflected across the wider NHS.

“We are very sorry for these delays and would like to offer reassurance that everything is being done to alleviate the pressures we are facing, as we work with partners across the wider care community including fellow NHS Trusts and local authorities.

"We are working closely with our partners at North West Ambulance Service on ambulance handovers and ensure we are admitting patients quickly, and paramedics are able to get back out onto the road and to other sick patients as soon as possible.

“We would ask the local community to please continue to consider whether you need to come to A&E or whether you would be better seeking help elsewhere such as an Urgent Treatment Centre or pharmacy.

“Do check our social media channels and website which contain essential information including pharmacy opening times if you require a prescription, how to check you’re contacting the right service for care and how to access a flu jab – increasing numbers of people seeking our help are suffering from flu which is placing additional pressure on healthcare services.

“I’d like to thank our colleagues at the Trust who have worked, and continue to work, tirelessly over this period across our hospital and community services and also acknowledge and extend our thanks to health and care partners.”

A North West Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “The health service as a whole is currently dealing with a high number of patients. During these very busy periods, patient handovers can become a challenge.

“We work closely with our hospital colleagues to help emergency crews clear as quickly possible to enable them to respond to other patients.

“As always, the public can assist by only calling 999 in life-threatening emergencies and considering other options including NHS 111 online, GPs and pharmacies for less urgent issues.”