Hospital patients wait up to 12 or 13 hours for a bed amid a “huge number” of admissions.
Dr. Chris Gibbons of the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “We have been really working at maximum capacity in emergency care for a while.
“In the last few months, probably since June, July, the numbers that come through the doors are higher than ever, especially in September and October we had 20 or 25% more visitors than in autumn 2019, which is quite a bit for us was busy time.
“That was linked to the bed capacity, we struggled to fill gaps due to illness and isolation, we have bed closures due to outbreaks of infection such as Covid.
“This has resulted in large numbers of patients coming through the front door, not enough bed capacity for emergency rooms. We are taking on an average of 20-25 new patients per day across the Trust that we did not admit two years ago.”
He added: “Before the pandemic, we very rarely kept someone waiting for a bed longer than four hours, unfortunately now six or seven hours have become very normal and we have sometimes seen up to 12 or 13 hours, which is terrible for them Patients and their families. “