Norfolk's largest hospital has resorted to treating patients in corridors as it battles to help keep ambulances on the road.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has crammed extra beds onto wards - and even in corridors - in a bid to reduce the amount of time ambulances spend waiting to offload patients.

But its chief executive has admitted this has led to a decline in the quality of care people are receiving while they are in hospital.

During a meeting of its board of directors, interim CEO Nick Hulme said at one point recently as many of eight patients at one time were being treated in corridors rather than on wards.

He added that this Monday saw 522 patients admitted to A&E in a single day - which he believed to be the busiest day during his time at the Trust.

Eastern Daily Press: Nick Hulme, interim CEO of the Norfolk and Norwich University HospitalNick Hulme, interim CEO of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

He said: "I think that put significant pressure on our inpatient wards and led to patients being cared for in areas not designed for care.

"At the worst point we had eight individual patients in corridors which is clearly a significant pressure.

"People are not delivering the quality of care they want to but we do have to recognise that this is still better than people being left at home for hours without the help of ambulances in the community.

"Our staff have been very clear they find this difficult but they do understand the reason."

In recent months the hospital has seen success in cutting down ambulance handover times - including a week in December when the average wait was just a minute.

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk and Norwich Unviersity Hosptial chief operating officer Chris Cobb. Picture: NNUH

But Chris Cobb, chief operating officer at the N&N, said this improvement was coming at a cost to the hospital.

He said a lot of the demand facing ambulances in the community was being "absorbed" by the hospital - and that the risk factor of long ambulance waits was being "brought into the building".