SICK patients have waited in the back of ambulances for longer than 30 minutes more than a dozen times-a-day at Southend Hospital, shock new figures show.

In a report due to go before Southend Clinical Commissioning Group’s governing body on Wednesday, it is reported the A&E department had breached the target 30-minute waiting time for ambulance patients on more than 14 times-a-day in April.

The CCG has stated that it is a pressure being experienced across the Mid Essex, Southend and Basildon groups and would be monitored by the UK accident and emergency delivery board.

In report due to go before group bosses, it states: “Southend A&E department has struggled to maintain a four hour performance target above 90 per cent and also, in the latter part of April saw ambulance handover time breach the 30 target time in excess of 14 times per day.

“However, it should be acknowledged that this pressure is being experienced across the Mid Southend and Basildon (MSB) group and the wider Essex footprint. This has been monitored via the daily surge calls and at the A&E Delivery Board.”

During the same month, the hospital also had cancer patients waiting for more than the 62-day target for treatment.

Of the 12 cases which were dealt with in April, three were more than 62 days, with the longest waiting time being endured by a patient in Castle Point and Rochford district.

The report added: “The trust continues to experience high volumes of patients attending the Accident and Emergency Department resulting in a continued dip in performance during February 2019.

“The overall performance for this reporting period was 92 per cent.”

Ian Gilbert, Labour councillor for Southend Victoria Ward, said: “I’m not surprised.

“We all know the NHS is overstretched across the whole country, they’re under resourced and understaffed.

“One of the main complaints we get as councillors is people struggle to get GP appointments.

“What we could use is more investment in the primary care sector, as the lack of resources there is maybe forcing people to use A&E more often."

Mike Quinn, director of operations unscheduled care at Southend Hospital, said: "The same pressure in ambulance waiting times is being experienced across our hospital group in mid and south Essex. We are working closely with the East of England Ambulance Service and our local health system to manage waiting times for people conveyed to hospital by ambulance, and report fortnightly to both NHS England and NHS Improvement, and are beginning to see signs of improvement."