I EXPERIENCED the unenviable position of being asked by the ambulance service to make my own way to the A&E department this week whilst suffering chest pain.

On arrival due to the building works there were no public parking bays, even though both my husband and myself are disabled and hold blue badges, parking was not readily available, including drop off points.

Contractors and their machinery took up a large proportion of previous parking spaces.

The A&E department was full, most patients had no face masks and there was no distance between patients.

I do not want to go into medical details but will comment on the following in answer to the article by Ms Jordan today: I was told to make my own way to A&E by the ambulance service.

Ambulances were waiting to hand over patients, I counted seven at the time.

No patients were asked to wear face coverings.

As a clinically extremely vulnerable couple we were put at high risk of contracting Covid through no fault of our own.

The staff were so very obviously under immense pressure.

However, those who manage our hospitals should consider “out of the box thinking” and try to alleviate the problem, not simply reiterate the problem.

Christchurch hospital is used for routine procedures yet why on earth can it not facilitate taking some of the 200 patients who are bed blocking in this obvious time of need, how difficult can this be.

Christchurch hospital has been extensively refurbished and I am sure the services available at this hospital are very much needed but needed above the need for ambulances to be able to attend 999 calls?

They could reinstate a hotel which can take these patients awaiting discharge.

Above all please do not intimate that everything is under control, your staff were floundering trying to keep up with the need to see patients and treat in a safe and reasonable time.

GILLIAN PARKER Ridgefield Gardens, Christchurch