Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust is running at “black” status as heatwave sees rise in patients

The Royal Sussex County Hospital

The Royal Sussex County Hospital

First published in News
Last updated
by , Health reporter

HOSPITALS are operating at their highest level of alert following a spike in the number of admissions last weekend.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust is running at “black” status as staff work to free beds.

Some routine operations have been postponed and non-essential meetings cancelled while teams deal with the pressure.

The recent heatwave is believed to be linked to the rise in demand, as many patients admitted they are suffering conditions often related to high temperatures.

These include dehydration, rehabilitation and respiratory and heart problems.

It is feared that the trust’s hospitals could come under even more pressure this week, with the hot weather expected to last until the weekend.

The start of the school holidays and the expected sharp rise in visitors to the coast during the coming weeks is also likely to increase demand.

The trust runs the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital and Sussex Eye Hospital, in Brighton, and Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.

More than 50 patients were ready to leave hospital but could not be discharged because there was no place available for them in a nursing or care home or arrangements had not been made to give them extra support at home. This is adding to the demand for beds and means patients in A&E are facing a long wait until a space can be found for them.

In the past six weeks, a total of 452 patients have waited up to 12 hours in A&E before moving on to a ward.

Hospital bosses said they hoped to be out of black status as soon as possible and were working with the city’s clinical commissioning group (CCG) and social care teams to speed the flow of patients.

This includes providing care for patients at home to avoid the need for them to be admitted to hospital in the first place.

Patients are being asked to do their bit by only visiting A&E in the case of a genuine emergency, such as serious injuries, illnesses and broken bones.

In a joint statement, the trust and CCG said: “Being situated in a popular seaside city, the A&E department at the Royal Sussex does often get busy during hot weather, which can occasionally lead to some patients having to wait longer than we would like to be treated.

“To help deal with this, the trust and the Brighton and Hove CCG have been working together, along with other health and social care organisations, to make sure the whole system is better prepared and more able to cope with increases in demand.”

Alternatives to A&E include local pharmacies, the Brighton Station walk-in centre, the minor injuries unit in Lewes, NHS 111 and out-of-hours GP services.

For more details about the other services that can be accessed, visit www.wecouldbeheroes.nhs.uk.

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:04pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Martha Gunn says...

Without an explanation the term 'black status' is utterly meaningless.

Surely when a journalist is told we are running at 'black status' the first question she should ask is - 'And what precisely does that mean?'

I'll put myself on 'red alert' until you come up with an answer.
Without an explanation the term 'black status' is utterly meaningless. Surely when a journalist is told we are running at 'black status' the first question she should ask is - 'And what precisely does that mean?' I'll put myself on 'red alert' until you come up with an answer. Martha Gunn
  • Score: 18

4:24pm Thu 24 Jul 14

tykemison says...

Martha Gunn wrote:
Without an explanation the term 'black status' is utterly meaningless.

Surely when a journalist is told we are running at 'black status' the first question she should ask is - 'And what precisely does that mean?'

I'll put myself on 'red alert' until you come up with an answer.
Martha, what an excellent post, absolutely spot on, sadly, these (ahem) journalists have grown up in the digital age where thinking is not a necessity, posting rubbish on social media on the crack-pads is the limit of their intellect!! On topic at hand, in this extreme/intolerable heat, please, please, please, do not spend hour upon hour on the beach/park cooking your poor selves, ridiculous the amount of people getting burnt, enjoy the summer but respect mother nature.
[quote][p][bold]Martha Gunn[/bold] wrote: Without an explanation the term 'black status' is utterly meaningless. Surely when a journalist is told we are running at 'black status' the first question she should ask is - 'And what precisely does that mean?' I'll put myself on 'red alert' until you come up with an answer.[/p][/quote]Martha, what an excellent post, absolutely spot on, sadly, these (ahem) journalists have grown up in the digital age where thinking is not a necessity, posting rubbish on social media on the crack-pads is the limit of their intellect!! On topic at hand, in this extreme/intolerable heat, please, please, please, do not spend hour upon hour on the beach/park cooking your poor selves, ridiculous the amount of people getting burnt, enjoy the summer but respect mother nature. tykemison
  • Score: 10

4:42pm Thu 24 Jul 14

davyboy61 says...

Plus for dog owners,REMEMBER to keep an eye on your dogs in this heat as they can die quickly if their temp goes over 105. Don`t let them run about and try to keep them on the lead and out of the light,plus watch their paws on the hot path ways
Plus for dog owners,REMEMBER to keep an eye on your dogs in this heat as they can die quickly if their temp goes over 105. Don`t let them run about and try to keep them on the lead and out of the light,plus watch their paws on the hot path ways davyboy61
  • Score: 5

5:17pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Goldenwight says...

"The recent heatwave is believed to be linked to the rise in demand, as many patients admitted they are suffering conditions often related to high temperatures.

These include dehydration, rehabilitation and respiratory and heart problems."

"Patients are being asked to do their bit by only visiting A&E in the case of a genuine emergency, such as serious injuries, illnesses and broken bones. "


So, lets be absolutely clear on the point the Argus is making here- people suffering from severe dehydration (leading to all sorts of other problems such as Kidney Failure, Seizures, Strokes and even Death), respiratory problems and heart problems (which require immediate medical attention to reduce the risk of Death) should NOT contact the Hospital A+E department but should instead visit their GP or Chemist, NHS waslk in centre or phone services. All of whom will immediately refer them to A+E which is precisely where they should have gone in the first place.

How many people have to die, Argus, before you remove the grossly inaccurate advice in this piece of trash from your website?
"The recent heatwave is believed to be linked to the rise in demand, as many patients admitted they are suffering conditions often related to high temperatures. These include dehydration, rehabilitation and respiratory and heart problems." "Patients are being asked to do their bit by only visiting A&E in the case of a genuine emergency, such as serious injuries, illnesses and broken bones. " So, lets be absolutely clear on the point the Argus is making here- people suffering from severe dehydration (leading to all sorts of other problems such as Kidney Failure, Seizures, Strokes and even Death), respiratory problems and heart problems (which require immediate medical attention to reduce the risk of Death) should NOT contact the Hospital A+E department but should instead visit their GP or Chemist, NHS waslk in centre or phone services. All of whom will immediately refer them to A+E which is precisely where they should have gone in the first place. How many people have to die, Argus, before you remove the grossly inaccurate advice in this piece of trash from your website? Goldenwight
  • Score: 3

5:38pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Zeta Function says...

How about some advice?

Such as: go easy on alcohol and caffeine drinks as these dehydrate. Sit in the shade, grab a straw hat, avoid big meals, get a fan.

The heart has to work harder in the heat. Remember.
How about some advice? Such as: go easy on alcohol and caffeine drinks as these dehydrate. Sit in the shade, grab a straw hat, avoid big meals, get a fan. The heart has to work harder in the heat. Remember. Zeta Function
  • Score: 2

6:00pm Thu 24 Jul 14

stevo!! . says...

If people are too stupid to not prepare themselves for a bit of hot weather then they deserve everything that's coming to them.
If people are too stupid to not prepare themselves for a bit of hot weather then they deserve everything that's coming to them. stevo!! .
  • Score: -16

7:26pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Mrs Newcastle says...

stevo!! . wrote:
If people are too stupid to not prepare themselves for a bit of hot weather then they deserve everything that's coming to them.
Lack of empathy!
[quote][p][bold]stevo!! .[/bold] wrote: If people are too stupid to not prepare themselves for a bit of hot weather then they deserve everything that's coming to them.[/p][/quote]Lack of empathy! Mrs Newcastle
  • Score: 4

9:27pm Thu 24 Jul 14

derekhunt says...

stevo!! . wrote:
If people are too stupid to not prepare themselves for a bit of hot weather then they deserve everything that's coming to them.
But some people aren't very clever or especially well educated and need a bit of assistance in life. There's nothing wrong with giving these people a bit of guidance.
[quote][p][bold]stevo!! .[/bold] wrote: If people are too stupid to not prepare themselves for a bit of hot weather then they deserve everything that's coming to them.[/p][/quote]But some people aren't very clever or especially well educated and need a bit of assistance in life. There's nothing wrong with giving these people a bit of guidance. derekhunt
  • Score: 5

11:42pm Thu 24 Jul 14

hubby says...

It has been over 30c where I live for over a month and it may hit 40c next month.
We stay out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day.Drink lots of water.Take cool showers and wear appropriate clothing.
It isn't rocket science.
It has been over 30c where I live for over a month and it may hit 40c next month. We stay out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day.Drink lots of water.Take cool showers and wear appropriate clothing. It isn't rocket science. hubby
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree