A man has died in the back of an ambulance after waiting six hours to be admitted to hospital, it has been revealed.

The elderly patient died outside of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s emergency department on Monday, August 22.

He was admitted with abdominal pain and was assessed by a doctor within 30 minutes of arriving at the hospital, who declared him to be "in a stable condition".

Chief nurse, Prof Nancy Fontaine, said the hospital would be looking into the circumstances surrounding the man’s death.

She added: “The patient was brought in on an extremely busy day for our hospital.

“[He] remained in the ambulance, due to significant pressures on our emergency department and inpatient wards.

“Sadly, the patient suddenly deteriorated and died in the ambulance.”

At the time, there were more than 200 patients in the hospital who were medically fit to be discharged. Currently the hospital has beds for 900 adults.

Norwich Evening News: Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey. Photo: Simon ParkerSuffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey. Photo: Simon Parker (Image: Archant)

The case highlights the scale of the challenge facing new health secretary Therese Coffey, who has made tackling ambulance response times one of her main priorities – as well as the backlog of non-urgent treatment, subsequent care and provisions of doctors and dentists.

The Suffolk Coastal MP has also been appointed as deputy prime minister by new Conservative leader Liz Truss.

Norwich Evening News: Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Pic: Yui Mok/PA ImagesNorwich South MP Clive Lewis. Pic: Yui Mok/PA Images (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South, described the death at the N&N as “scandalous”.

“We're one of the wealthiest nations in the world and our emergency services can often no longer reliably cope with emergencies," he said.

“I feel sorry for local NHS staff who I know just want to be able to do their jobs, giving the best care to patients.

“The primary day-to-day reasons for the often near collapse of local ambulance and A&E services are well known.

“Ambulances queue for hours because A&E departments are already full to capacity. Elsewhere in the hospital, older people ready for discharge have nowhere safe to be discharged.

“But those are just the symptoms of a much more profound and systemic failure to keep us all well and stop people from getting ill in the first place.”