Hundreds of Epsom and St Helier Hospital patients have faced waits of more than a half hour while waiting in ambulances this past winter, official figures reveal.

NHS England data shows a total of 329 people had to wait more than 30 minutes outside A&E departments between November 20 and December 31 last year, and another 82 waited more than an hour.

It represents 411 – or 10.15 percent – of the 4,046 patients who arrived at the hospitals between the dates in 2017, according to Winter Daily SitRep figures.

Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake said: “These figures show the NHS crisis in our area is worsening. Hundreds of patients are being left stuck in ambulances outside A&Es.

"Every ambulance stuck outside an A&E department could well be needed by another patient waiting desperately at home for help."

The values were obtained by assessing the number of patients who arrived by ambulance in a timeseries spreadsheet for Epsom and St Helier Hospital.

December 2 had the highest number of patients waiting at least 30 minutes with 21, followed by December 11 (19) and 27th (18).

There 15 people who waited an hour or more on December 20 in an ambulance – the highest in the timespan – however there were also six consecutive days between December 13 and 19 where no one waited more than half an hour.

Mr Brake added: “Despite this, I would like to thank the brilliant efforts of the fantastic staff at St Helier and despite these nationwide struggles, it is one of the best performing hospital trusts at the current time.

“We are lucky to have such an excellent facility at our disposal.”

Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust chief executive Daniel Elkeles said: “We are absolutely committed to providing patients with compassionate, high quality care in a timely way, and our staff continue to work hard to maintain those high standards during the exceptional surge in demand we are experiencing.

“Our A&E staff work will always work closely with the ambulance crews to ensure that patients are transferred into our departments safely.

"However, we recognise that there have been some delays in these transfers over recent weeks, and we unreservedly apologise for that.

"We know that coming into hospital by ambulance can be a daunting and worrying experience for patients and their loved ones, and in order to minimise that worry wherever possible, we strive to ensure that a patient’s care with us is as seamless as possible.

“I would like to assure our patients and members of the public that we are doing absolutely everything we can to keep delays to a minimum, and would like to thank everyone for their on-going support and understanding.”