THE Health board has apologised to patients left waiting in ambulances for Royal Gwent Hospital beds this morning - including one believed to have waited for more than nine hours with a broken hip.

A reader sent a picture of five ambulances parked outside the Newport hospital's accident and emergency (A&E) department earlier today.
South Wales Argus:

Ambulances outside the Royal Gwent Hospital

Patients were said to being cared for inside the vehicles because the A&E department was so busy.

A reader, who did not wish to be named, said: "It is shocking that someone had to wait this long.
"It is not acceptable. This is happening far too often."

A spokeswoman for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board has since apologised for the lengthy waits, saying: “The Royal Gwent Hospital has been under significant pressure over the last 48 hours with high attendances of acutely unwell patients to A&E and our emergency assessment areas.

"We recognise that some patients are waiting in A&E much longer than we would want.

“Our staff prioritise the care of very sick patients and on some occasions this means people who arrive at A&E with less serious illnesses or injuries will experience longer waits for treatment.

"Many patients who are in the A&E Department or in ambulances have been seen and assessed by our clinicians and are waiting for admission to a bed within the hospital.

“We apologise for the delays our patients may have experienced overnight.

"Our staff have been working extremely hard to ensure patients are safe during this time and prioritise the most critically ill.

"All patients who were delayed on ambulances have now been moved into the emergency department.

“We are continually working to ensure that our patients receive the highest standards of care in a timely manner."

She added: “The Royal Gwent Hospital remains busy and patients are also reminded to choose well and where possible seek appropriate alternative healthcare advice before attending A and E.”