Woman suffers fatal heart attack in ambulance outside Paget

The James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston has urged people not to come into A&E unless it is an emergency. 

The James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A woman suffered a fatal heart attack in the back of an ambulance while queueing to enter a hospital in Norfolk.

The incident happened outside James Paget University Hospital's emergency department on Monday.

The patient was moved from the ambulance into the emergency department at the Gorleston hospital for treatment but died in the department.

Bosses at the James Paget hospital confirmed that the patient had been waiting for two hours in the back of the ambulance, but were unable to confirm how many ambulances were waiting outside the emergency department at the time of the woman's death.

A spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with the family of the patient who sadly died.

“It remains incredibly busy across the healthcare system – but our staff continue to do all they can in caring for our patients, despite the pressure they are working under.”

The James Paget University Hospital , like most hospitals in the country, has been dealing with a rise in patient numbers and a decrease in staffing levels.

On Tuesday, JPUH tweeted that the hospital was "extremely busy" and urged people to only go to A and E in a genuine emergency.

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A spokesman for East of England Ambulance Service said: "We would like to pass our sincere condolences to this patient's family for their loss and invite them to contact us directly to discuss any concerns they may have.

"The NHS is currently experiencing high demand for our services which is having an impact on handover times. We are working closely with the teams at hospitals across Norfolk to support faster handover of patients."

On Wednesday, we reported that the region's ambulance service is in crisis.

East of England Ambulance Service Trust's Unison branch chairman, Glenn Carrington, blamed “11 years of under-investment in the health service” for the severity of the crisis, warning the worst might be yet to come.

“This isn’t going anywhere soon," he said. "And we’ve got flu season next month, and then we’re going to know about it.

“I think the wheels are going to come off. I hope I’m wrong, but there’s no slack in the system."

What you should do in an emergency

Health leaders in Norfolk and Waveney are taking urgent action to urge the public to keep A and E free for serious emergencies only.

With pressure mounting on local NHS services, the Norfolk and Waveney health and care system is asking the public not to just to turn up to A&E but to think NHS 111 first or visit their local pharmacy or contact their GP.

The urgent plea is aimed at raising awareness of alternative services available for people needing urgent medical advice and treatment.

The best way to get the medical help you need is to think NHS 111 first. 

Phone NHS 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk for anything that feels urgent, or if you are unsure what to do.

They can direct you to the most appropriate place and even book you a time slot for a GP consultation or A&E if necessary.

In life-threatening emergencies dial 999.