Update: Major internal incident now over at Norwich A&E following busiest night of the year

Ambulances backed up at the N&N on Wednesday December 31. Photo: Denise Burke/Twitter

Ambulances backed up at the N&N on Wednesday December 31. Photo: Denise Burke/Twitter - Credit: Denise Burke/Twitter

A major internal incident at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital - which saw patients being treated on trollies in the A&E department - is now over.

The rush at the N&N saw up to 13 ambulances waiting outside to drop off more patients at one point yesterday and led to a 'major internal incident' being declared because of the number of people that were being treated.

But with the biggest party night of the year now having passed the situation has eased somewhat and the major incident now over.

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Denise Burke, from the Act on Ambulances campaign, had spent the day with paramedics yesterday and said 13 ambulances were backed up outside the hospital yesterday morning, waiting for patients to be admitted.

Mrs Burke added there were eight patients on trollies and no beds left at A&E.

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'We were waiting for about three quarters of an hour to hand one patient over,' she said. 'The crazy thing is we are spending our time in the Norwich area but we are on a Cromer ambulance.'

North Norfolk has the worst ambulance response time in the area covered by the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST).

An EEAST spokesman said the service had been very busy but was coping.

'We are all prepared for NYE,' the trust's director for Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, Matt Broad, wrote on Twitter.

The ambulance service reported a surge in demand since the weekend.

The EEAST received more than 3,380 emergency calls on Saturday alone – a trend reflected across the country.

Compared to the same weekend in 2013, the number of calls received was up by 26.5 per cent.

'Throughout this time, the service has worked extremely closely with hospitals, NHS England local area teams and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to respond to patients,' an ambulance spokesman said.

Dave Fountain, the trust's gold commander over the festive period, said: 'Due to significantly high demand, we have seen handover delays at a number of hospitals across our region over the weekend.

'However we have managed this through partnership working to ensure our patients received an excellent service. I'd like to thank all our staff for their hard work this weekend and over the whole festive period.'

Director of Medicine and Emergency Care Chris Cobb said: 'An internal major incident was launched as a result of the extremely high demand for emergency care. This resulted in us being able to discharge patients to provide capacity for the Bank Holiday. The internal major incident status has been stood down as a result of the excellent response of our staff and we would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff for all their hard work.'

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