1). @BBCLookEast This is the tented marquee set up outside Addenbrookes A&E. It’s there so ambulances can offload patients to the tent before they are triaged by hospital staff. Previously they could have been in the back of an ambulance for 4 hours.
2). It’s being done so that ambulances can get back on the road for urgent calls. That’s a problem. At one point in August one third of the East of England ambulances were parked outside hospitals waiting. They say demand is unprecedented.
3). Pinch points in the east are Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Norfolk and Waveney and Herts and West Essex. One in three ambulances in August waited more than 4 hours outside A&E.
Last week the ambulance service in east went into highest stage of alert/surge three times.
Why? Demand is up. GP’s 30%, A&E 25-30%. Illnesses suppressed during lockdown, delayed or delaying treatment. Fewer beds and staff because of Covid but not largely Covid patients.
5). Ambulance response times for heart attacks and strokes: target 18 minutes on average. August 2020 was 22 mins. August 2021 41 minutes. More than double average length of time should be.
6). It means patients are waiting longer, particularly those who have a heart attack/stroke/other category 2 call. Brian Fenn from Clacton suffered chest pains and died of a heart attack after an ambulance took 47 minutes to get to him.
7). The ambulance service says staff are run down. They already have the army helping with non emergency patient transport. It says it’s “Focus on staff wellbeing never been more prominent”
8). The last time a tent was put up outside A&E to monitor patients in the East of England before a&e triage was 2013 when the NNUH had this army style tent there.
I’m also hearing of long delays last week handing over ambulance patients at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston and other hospitals were so full they were diverting ambulances elsewhere.
Addenbrookes say:
“We are currently experiencing high demand at our emergency department and to ensure ambulances can handover patients to us quickly and respond to other urgent calls, we have provided a temporary structure at the front of the department where patients can be..
...cared for by ambulance staff, before being triaged by a hospital clinician.
“The public can help us at this time by considering alternative services, including using 111 online for urgent medical help and advice.
Here are more photos

Here is my report...

bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episod… 4.16 in
Basically hospital A&E departments are struggling with increased demand and can’t process ambulance patients quickly enough
Have been asked to point out that the difficulty in getting patients in front door at A&E stems from the difficulty with getting patients out of beds inside the hospital and freeing up beds as the hospitals are so full. Some running over 95% capacity
Some of this stems from lack of suitable social care availability, some lack of mental health support/beds, some patients with more serious conditions in hospital and Covid on top

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More from @nikkijfox

15 Sep
1. All inpatient mental health beds for children run by EPUT have been closed to new admissions. Essex: Children harmed by mental health service failings - BBC News bbc.com/news/uk-englan…
This is the same trust recently fined £1.5m after the deaths of 11 other patients in its care. These three units have 38 beds so this has hugely reduced the number of children/young people’s mental health beds in East of England.
NHSE are yet to/have failed to tell us what that amounts to as a percentage of CAMHS beds in East of England
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