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Southend Hospital services under extreme pressure

13 June 2016

Health Care

Following a review meeting today, Southend University Hospital has declared an internal critical incident to its external health and local authority partners as high demand continues.

The hospital is seeing very high numbers of patients arriving in the Emergency Department with the hospital already operating at full capacity. 


In light of the continuing pressures on the hospital's emergency and acute services, the trust has declared an internal critical incident and is implementing measures to safely manage the issues and make beds available to admit very unwell patients from the emergency department.


Jon Findlay, Chief Operating Officer, said "We have seen incredibly high attendance in our Emergency Department this morning with ambulances and patients continuing to arrive.  We have no available beds in the hospital and are working closely with our partners at the Clinical Commissioning Groups and local authorities to allow us to safely discharge patients who are medically fit so that we can free up beds for new admissions.


"Like other trusts across Essex and the wider region, the pressure on our services is not abating.  Our staff are working 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 period.


"I must urge members of the public to think very carefully about using Southend's A&E and to consider whether it would be more appropriate to visit their GP, call NHS 111 or speak with a pharmacist.  Patients attending the Emergency Department with a non-urgent condition during this critical incident will have to wait much longer than usual to be seen while emergency patients are prioritised."


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 department.