Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Black alert as Brighton's Royal Sussex hospital diverts A&E patients
Patients have been diverted from the Royal Sussex County Hospital's A&E department as the Brighton hospital struggles to deal with a surge in patients.
The hospital in Eastern Road, Brighton has been placed on “black alert” as under-pressure staff work to free up beds.
Its accident and emergency department has been put on divert three times in the last four days and some non-urgent operations have been cancelled.
This meant all but the most critically ill or injured patients were sent to Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath instead.
Patients have faced long waits in A&E at the Royal Sussex until beds become available for them elsewhere in the hospital.
The Argus was contacted by a South East Coast Ambulance Service worker who said at one point three patients were waiting in ambulances outside A&E because there was no room for them inside the department.
The problem has been partly caused by the hospital having to care for high numbers of patients who are ready to be discharged but no nursing or rehabilitation bed can be found for them elsewhere in the city.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and the CCG, which is responsible for making sure enough community beds are available, were awarded £2.3 million extra Government funding to help ease pressure on the Royal Sussex this winter.
Work has included the recent introduction of two extra non-emergency ambulances which are being used to transfer patients from the hospital to rehabilitation beds.
In a joint statement, the trust and CCG said: “The hospital has been very busy since the weekend and this has unfortunately led to some patients having to wait longer than we would like to be treated in the emergency department and admitted into beds.
“The CCG works closely with the trust and the ambulance service to ensure that any patient who does have to wait in A&E is made as comfortable as possible and regularly monitored in a safe environment.
“We are working hard with our partner health and social care organisations to create more capacity in the hospital and out in the community that will allow patients to be treated quicker.”
The trust, which runs the Royal Sussex and Princess Royal, has been under sustained pressure in recent months, and has been operating at red alert, the second highest level, on several occasions.
Its last black alert was before Christmas.
Comments are closed on this article.