The number of patients having to wait in ambulances to A&E in the North East is increasing, a Freedom of Information request has revealed. 

The Northern Echo report:

NHS officials insisted last night that North-East accident and emergency departments could cope despite new figures showing a massive increase in patients kept waiting more than an hour in the back of an ambulance.

The figures show that patients waiting to be transferred from ambulances to hard-pressed hospital A&E departments has soared almost nine-fold over the past three years.

Statistics released to the Labour Party after Freedom of Information requests to the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), showed that the number of people waiting more than an hour to be transferred went up from 241 in 2010-11 to 2,165 in 2012-13.

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I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.