Patient’s 17 hours before admission to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital down to clinical reasons

General view of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney; April 2009; NNUH / Hospital /

General view of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney; April 2009; NNUH / Hospital / Colney / Parking / A & E; Picture: James Bass; Copy: Rebecca Gough; For: EN News; Evening News © 2009 (01603) 772434 - Credit: Evening News © 2009

A patient who spent 17 hours in Accident and Emergency before being admitted to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital was delayed because of clinical reasons, the hospital has said.

The long-wait was listed in an 'extremely worrying' list of long delays across the country obtained by the Labour Party under Freedom of Information rules. The research also revealed there had been a 20 hour wait at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.

But the N&N said the 'extremely rare' instances where patients waited long than 12 hours to be admitted were down to clinical reasons.

Shadow health secretary John Ashworth called for a 'big debate' on heath spending, saying that the NHS was underfunded.

He added: 'Waiting longer than necessary is unfair on patients, and their families, who are already faced with enough stress and anxiety.''To have patients waiting on trollies for, in one case over 20 hours, is not good enough,' he added.

But an N&N spokeswoman said: 'The effects of an ageing population mean demand for our services is continuing to increase and as the busiest emergency department in the East of England, we treat more than 100,000 patients every year. In the extremely rare instances that patients waited longer than 12 hours from decision to admit to admission, there were clinical reasons which necessitated an extended stay in the emergency department. In this case, the patient became acutely unwell after a bed was initially requested and as a result required further treatment in A&E prior to being transferred to the ward. Do you have a health story? Email