New record set at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital as A&E medics see biggest number yet of patients brought to department by ambulances

Ambulances wait outside A&E at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: James Bass Copy: F

Ambulances wait outside A&E at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: James Bass Copy: For: EDP News Eastern Daily Press © 2008 (01603) 772434 - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2008

Medical staff worked 'incredibly hard' to cope with demand after a record number of ambulances brought patients to the region's biggest A&E department.

On November 19, a Saturday, East of England Ambulance Service sent 170 ambulances to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) - the highest amount ever on one day.

It meant the N&N's emergency teams were 'extremely busy', a hospital spokesman said.

That day there were a total of 356 patients who came to the N&N's A&E department.

Of those, 170 were brought by emergency ambulances.

A total of 93 patients were admitted to the hospital, while the other 263 patients were discharged home from A&E that same day.

Meanwhile, ambulance crews spent more than 14 hours waiting to off-load their patients to the hospital.

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The N&N was on 'OPEL 3' the second-highest level of four alerts, which are used during times of high demand.

This categorisation has replaced the former terms such as 'green, amber, red and black alert'.

'Our teams worked incredibly hard to ensure that patients were seen as quickly and safely as possible,' the spokesman said.

They added: 'Patients can help us by using other NHS services which can treat minor illnesses or injuries such as their pharmacist, GP, 111, or the Norwich walk-in centre at Rouen Road which is open seven days a week.'

The ambulance trust experienced 533 999 calls on the day, compared to 311 the previous year.

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Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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