Large numbers of seriously ill patients continue to arrive at Southend Hospital
15 January 2016
Following a review meeting, Southend University Hospital has declared a critical internal incident to its external health and local authority partners.
This is because we are seeing high numbers of very poorly
patients coming to the hospital and needing admission with the
hospital already operating at full bed capacity.
With the continuing pressures on the hospital's emergency and
acute services, the executive team and lead clinicians have again
taken the decision to raise the alert status above black.
This is part of a wider range of measures being undertaken at
the trust to safely manage the issues and make beds available to
admit very unwell patients from the emergency department.
Sue Hardy, chief executive, said "Like other trusts across Essex
and the wider region, we are continuing to see large numbers of
acutely unwell patients coming into hospital and needing to be
"Our staff continue to work extremely hard to cope with the
current pressures while maintaining high standards of care, and I'd
like to thank them for their commitment during this difficult
"However we have had to escalate our status again to ensure the
safety of our patients as we continue to work with our partners in
To assist the hospital in dealing with the situation, the trust
would like to remind members of the public to only visit the
accident and emergency department if they are seriously unwell or
Choking, chest pain, blacking out, blood loss and fractures are
all considered emergencies, and those with symptoms like this
should not hesitate to visit their local A&E
Sue Hardy added: "The emergency department is very busy and we
have to warn patients that those attending with 'non-urgent'
conditions will wait much longer than usual as patients are
prioritised according to how unwell they are.
"We would like to remind anyone who is unsure of the best course
of action to always ring NHS 111 for health advice 24 hours a day,
seven days a week, or to speak with your GP or pharmacist."