Winter Pressures

The Trust would like to publicly thank all our staff for working tirelessly this winter to ensure patients received high quality and safe services. It is testament to the can-do attitude and enthusiasm of all our front line and support staff working in hospitals, community and social care teams that we continued to provide an excellent standard of care in exceptionally difficult circumstances.

The Trust would also like to thank patients, their families and friends for their co-operation and willingness to understand the pressure under which we are operating. We appreciate the distress it causes when appointments are cancelled and would like to assure patients that this decision is only taken when absolutely necessary.

Every year the NHS makes local, regional and national plans to deal with an increase in demand for its services in winter. The national press reported the weather conditions this winter as being some of the worst for 30 years. Those weather conditions are still being experienced and are still increasing the demand for our NHS services.

Every day since the 15 December, this Trust received a higher than average number of patients for the time of year through GP referrals and A&E admissions. Due to the continuing cold weather, icy road conditions and seasonal flu, greater numbers of these patients have needed to be admitted which puts pressure on beds and staffing levels.

In response, the Trust opened beds above and beyond our winter escalation plan (up to 30 were opened at any one time across NDDH and the 5 community hospitals). In addition, the complex care and community hospital teams worked hard to reduce unnecessary admissions to NDDH and the Community Hospitals by offering support and services to patients in their own homes.

At a meeting of Trust clinicians and managers last week, the continuing pressure on beds and staff was discussed. In order to continue providing a safe service, the Trust managers and clinicians took the decision to cancel some non-urgent inpatient elective surgery for the rest of the week. To date this has affected 30 patients.

We understand that other neighbouring hospitals have taken similar action to keep winter pressures under control.

Posted in News.

Last updated: March 6, 2018