Ambos left waiting with patients for hours
PARAMEDICS say they are waiting with patients in hospital "corridors and around corners", preventing them in some cases from returning to their ambulances for hours.
The Bulletin yesterday revealed the ambulance ramping crisis had reached a new low, with 41 per cent of patients taken to the city's two public hospitals by ambulance waiting at least 30 minutes to be taken off stretchers.
It prompted the Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union (QNMU) to call for an urgent review of emergency departments (ED) state-wide.
An emergency services source told the Bulletin yesterday: "We wait with them (patients) along corridors or around corners. Some are put in chairs.
"We have waited up to two-and-a-half hours with category two, chest pain patients. There is some confusion about who is in charge of their care."
In response yesterday, Gold Coast Health strongly denied patients were being left in ambulances, however, it admitted "paramedics may remain with the patient until a full clinical handover occurs".
Opposition health spokesperson Ros Bates said her sympathies were with the patients, families of loved ones and stressed staff.
"Patients lined up in corridors and hallways is a disgrace. It's the human face of Labor's ramping crisis. These aren't just numbers in a spreadsheet."
Photographs obtained by the Bulletin show at least five ambulances filled parking bays outside the ED at the Gold Coast University Hospital on Monday.
"We are under the impression and told by our managers that once at the hospital patients are triaged, but they are still on our stretcher and we are waiting with them to offload," an emergency services source said.
Another health source says the ramping on occasions is so bad at Robina Hospital that there are not enough ambulance bays.
"They are left in the corridor. It goes on all the time. We have ambulances parked outside the ambulance bays. There is no room for them," the source said.
Nurses union secretary Beth Mohle yesterday called for an urgent, state-wide review of Queensland EDs "with real action to follow".
She said the Palaszczuk Government had "done much" to increase staff numbers in fast-growing Queensland regions, and the onus was on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to review and rectify Federal Government funding models.
A Gold Coast Health spokesperson said the ED worked closely with paramedics to "ensure safe care of patients arriving by ambulance".
"Once patients arrive in our emergency departments, the clinical responsibility for that
patient sits with the hospital, however paramedics may remain with the patient until a full
clinical handover occurs," the spokesperson said.
"Patients brought to ED by ambulance are transferred immediately into the ED where they are triaged according to urgency of clinical need.
"At Gold Coast Health, patients are not left waiting in ambulances."