THE trust which runs Worcestershire Royal Hospital has apologised after reports ambulances waited outside for nearly three hours to hand over patients.

The BBC has reported that at the peak period on Friday night, February 16, 14 ambulances were tied up at the hospital with West Midlands Ambulance Service's Hazardous Area Response Team sent to assist.

The situation was reportedly resolved within an hour before the team deployed its tent - a temporary structure where patients can be treated.

The service has written to the hospital, Care Quality Commission, NHS England and NHS Improvement about the situation.

The hospital is believed to have missed the target to deal with 95 per cent of patients who attend A and E within four hours.

A spokesperson for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “On Friday evening our Emergency Department (ED) was extremely busy and we made use of all available space in and around the ED where patients could be safely cared for.

"We accept that, during what was a period of extremely high demand, we were not able to accept patient handovers from ambulance colleagues as promptly as we would have wanted.

“We also recognise that while our staff were working very hard to keep them safe, the experience of patients in some of these areas was not what we would want it to be.

"We apologise for that and we thank our patients for their support and understanding.

"We are working very closely with our partners in the ambulance trust and other local health and care organisations to manage high levels of demand and our priority remains the safety of our patients.”