An NHS trust has achieved a huge reduction in the number of patients stuck in ambulances outside its A&E departments.
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals was the top NHS trust in Yorkshire for swift handovers of ambulance patients to A&E staff in March, latest figures show.
Patients waited for more than 30 minutes to be handed over to A&E on nine occasions that month and none waited more than an hour at Mid Yorkshire, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals.
Two years ago, it was happening hundreds of times every month at the trust, leaving ambulance crews stuck outside A&E and unable to respond to fresh call-outs.
Mid Yorkshire said it was meeting its target for patients to be handed over within 15 minutes after bringing in specialist nurses to speed up the transfers.
Chief Operating Officer Trudie Davies said: “Prior to this initiative, attainment of our 15-minute ambulance handover target was less than 42 per cent.
“With the introduction of the flow nurses, this has increased to more than 86 per cent.
“This investment has allowed us to double our performance and we now regularly top the regional performance tables. The most important aspect of this initiative is that we are able to release ambulance crews back into their primary duty of responding to emergency calls and in addition, we are able to ensure that our patients get rapid assessment and treatment.”
In March 2016, patients waited in ambulances outside A&E at Mid Yorkshire for more than 30 minutes on a staggering 690 occasions.