Southend Hospital services under extreme pressure
10 October 2016
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 has continued to
see very high numbers of patients attending the hospital during
September and the first weeks of October. In light of these
continuing pressures on the hospital's emergency and acute
services, the trust has declared an internal critical incident and
measures to safely manage the issues and make beds available to
admit very unwell patients from the emergency department.
The executive team has taken
the decision to cancel some elective operations to free up senior
clinical staff, allowing inpatients to be seen more frequently and
Jon Findlay, Chief Operating
Officer, said "We are in a very similar position to other Trusts
across the wider south Essex region. September was the most
challenging month the Trust has experienced and 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
continued commitment in dealing with these on-going challenges.
"We are currently assessing our
capacity to carry out elective operations and may cancel further
operations to ensure we are concentrating all our efforts on
reviewing inpatients, safely discharging patients who are medically
fit and freeing up more beds.
"We will contact every
patient affected by the cancellations, so if you do not hear from
us, please do attend your scheduled appointment."
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 critically injured.
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.
Neil Rothnie, Medical
Director at Southend University Hospital added: "The emergency
department is very busy and the hospital as a whole is working at
"It is likely that patients
attending A&E with non-urgent conditions will not be seen in
the department. Those patients will be advised and assisted by our
specialist Emergency Department Navigator service to book an
appointment with their own GP or to seek treatment advice from a
"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."