Red alert over hospital bed shortages

The Argus: Red alert over hospital bed shortages Red alert over hospital bed shortages

A surge in patients and bed shortages have forced hospital bosses to declare a red alert.

The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath have been under constant pressure between Christmas and the New Year.

Demand is likely to intensify today and throughout this week with last night’s New Year’s Eve celebrations expected to be one of the busiest nights of the year at A&E.

In his weekly email to staff on Monday, chief executive Matthew Kershaw said 2013 “hasn’t been the easiest”.

“As a public service it is absolutely right we are held to account for what we do, that shortcomings are highlighted and addressed as quickly and effectively as possible and lessons are learned so we don’t repeat mistakes.”

He added: “However, the year has also been a successful and productive one with some noteworthy achievements.”

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust’s current red alert status is the third highest out of four levels.

It means the trust has capacity issues, high numbers of people coming into A&E, extended ambulance turnaround times and staff shortages.

Extra staff have already been drafted in to help with demand in A&E and teams are working closely to make sure patients are discharged as early as possible to free up beds.

The highest level, black alert, which involves cancelling operations and appointments, was declared for three days in the middle of December.

Since then the trust has mainly been operating at amber and red level.

Hospital bosses said there was no specific reason for why the hospitals had been so busy.

A spokesman said: “The new year period is usually one of the busiest times of the year in our emergency departments and we have a number of measures in place to help us cope with the extra demand.

“However, we are also calling on the public to help us by only going to A&E with serious injuries, illnesses and broken bones.

“There are a number of alternative services available which can deal with most health problems, such as local pharmacies, NHS 111, GPs and the walk in centre on Queen’s Road in Brighton.”

For more information about where to go, including opening times and directions, visit www.wecould beheroes.nhs.uk.

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Comments (3)

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10:41am Wed 1 Jan 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

Remember it is this government causing this by cutting funding to the NHS by over £20 Billion but they give the banks £37.5 Billion every year.
Remember it is this government causing this by cutting funding to the NHS by over £20 Billion but they give the banks £37.5 Billion every year. getThisCoalitionOut

12:28pm Wed 1 Jan 14

clubrob6 says...

The NHS is facing cuts while the population is increasing,immigrati
on is just one of the factors.Its NOT the immigrants fault but the last few governments that have not provided public services for them.In 2013 I waited 9 months for a simple test my cardiologist wanted.I also went to the station clinic rather than A&E waited 4 hours then told to go to A&E and when I phoned the station clinic up for blood tests results they had no record of me being there.So basically the alternatives to A&E don't work in brighton and hove.The government is in panic stations saying they are going to charge immigrants for the use of the NHS but who will police this its just going to put more work onto NHS staff.Basically that should be border controls job.
The NHS is facing cuts while the population is increasing,immigrati on is just one of the factors.Its NOT the immigrants fault but the last few governments that have not provided public services for them.In 2013 I waited 9 months for a simple test my cardiologist wanted.I also went to the station clinic rather than A&E waited 4 hours then told to go to A&E and when I phoned the station clinic up for blood tests results they had no record of me being there.So basically the alternatives to A&E don't work in brighton and hove.The government is in panic stations saying they are going to charge immigrants for the use of the NHS but who will police this its just going to put more work onto NHS staff.Basically that should be border controls job. clubrob6

5:35pm Wed 1 Jan 14

missusM says...

Things are set to get much much worse if the proposed cuts in bank staff pay rates are implemented in February!
Things are set to get much much worse if the proposed cuts in bank staff pay rates are implemented in February! missusM

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