A major hospital has declared a ‘black alert’, saying staff patients are facing “unacceptably long waits” for a bed at A&E.
The owners of Nottingham University Hospitals Trust sent an alert to staff on Monday as 143 patients were waiting to be seen in the emergency department at the Queen’s Medical Center site.
The problems in hospitals across the country have been repeated in recent months, with the head of NHS England admitting that the health service has experienced its “toughest summer”.
Photos from last week showed patients waiting on chairs under blankets outside Addenbrook Hospital in Cambridge due to a lack of capacity at A&E.
Hospital operations have also been canceled across England, forcing overcrowded ambulance trusts to call in the military for support.
At a meeting of the board of NHS England on Thursday, chief executive Amanda Pritchard warned that “things will get even more difficult” as the country heads into winter.
In Nottingham, the pressure of increasing numbers of both Covid and non-Covid patients has meant wards being used for routine operations, including some cancer surgeries.
Emails to staff said the trust had declared an Opal 4, which stands for operational pressure escalation level, and is the equivalent of the old ‘black alert’ system where an NHS trust signals that it is unable to deliver comprehensive care. and patient safety is at risk.
A message to staff by the trust’s head of site operations, and shared with The Granthshala, said: “We are under immense pressure this morning, with 143 patients in our emergency department, 32 of them waiting in beds. (some are experiencing unacceptably long waits). Bed capacity at any hospital site is very limited. Please all departments implement their Opal 4 actions immediately and help reduce waits for our patients Do it.”
Staff were urged to prioritize discharging patients and to “think the chair is not a bed” and send patients to the discharge lounge as soon as possible.
Consultants were urged to speak directly to fellow senior doctors and make efforts to deal with delays in reviewing patients, while staff were told to prioritize necessary tests before discharging patients.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /