18,000 East Midlands patients kept waiting for more than an hour to be transferred to A&E

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Almost 100,000 people had to wait over 30 minutes to be transferred from an East Midlands ambulance to A&E in 2015/16, new figures show.

Nationally, the number of patients waiting for an hour or more in the back of ambulances to be transferred into A&E has more than doubled in the last three years, leading to ‘ambulance queues’ forming outside English A&Es, Labour East Midlands have said.

The figures are based on a Freedom of Information Act request to English ambulance trusts.

And the figures from East Midlands Ambulance Service show that delays have increased hugely over the last three years.

In 2013/14, 62,011 patients were left waiting for more than 30 minutes with 6,145 waiting for more than 60 minutes. In 2015/16, these figures increased to 98,504 and 18,782 respectively. The delays recorded by EMAS are the worst of England’s ten ambulance trusts.

Jon Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said: “These shocking figures show the scale of the crisis currently facing our A&E services across the country.

“Every day, patients are being forced to wait in the back of an ambulance outside A&E departments - sometimes for longer than an hour. For patients already in distress this absolutely will not do.”