THE chief executive of the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has made a public apology after ambulances full of patients were forced to queue at the Worcestershire Royal hospital.

Matthew Hopkins tweeted a picture of around six ambulances carrying patients waiting outside the hospital earlier this week.

Mr Hopkins wrote: “When we get things wrong we should acknowledge it and apologise to patients who experienced long waits for urgent care. Please accept my apologies.

"Our clinical and managerial teams across #Worcestershire are working to improve your experience and outcomes ASAP.”

After the tweet, a statement from Mr Hopkins said: “Demand on our emergency department at Worcestershire Royal Hospital remains high and the last few days have been particularly busy. Staff in our emergency departments are continuing to work very hard to ensure that our patients get the best, safest care possible.

"Despite their efforts, and the efforts of GPs, community staff and social care, we know that some patients are still waiting longer to be seen in our emergency departments than we would want, and on behalf of the trust and all of our partners across the county, I think it’s only right that we apologise for this.

“Patients can also do their bit by choosing their health services wisely, and only attending A&E if they really need to.”

Peter Pinfield, chairman of Healthwatch Worcestershire the group which represents county patients, said: “Matthew Hopkins has shown it’s time to stop making excuses, and to get on with trying to make things better.

“People have been pleased by his honesty. But I want to see no ambulances queuing outside. This needs to end.

“It is difficult for patients waiting there for hours, and the ambulances can’t leave.”