NHS in Nottinghamshire declares critical incident amid ‘unprecedented’ pressure
Nottinghamshire has become the latest NHS area to declare a critical incident amid “continued and unprecedented” pressure on its services.
NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire said its hospitals were continuing to treat significant levels of Covid-19 alongside high numbers of patients with other conditions.
In a statement issued less than a week after the health service in Derbyshire confirmed its own critical incident amid heatwave pressures, the NHS in Nottinghamshire urged patients to only call 999 or attend accident and emergency departments for serious accidents or genuine emergencies.
Confirming some non-urgent operations will be postponed, the statement read: “There are extended waiting times to access beds within our hospitals.
“This, paired with difficulties in discharging patients due to a lack of capacity across our care sector as well as staff absence due to Covid-19, is causing a significant strain on the system.
“As a result, the healthcare system is taking additional steps to prioritise and maintain safe services for patients.
“Our aim is to prioritise patients with the highest level of need and ensure that we continue to be able to manage emergency care.
“This means that some non-urgent operations, where patients require a stay in hospital, will be postponed to prioritise patients with the most urgent clinical need.”
NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire said it regretted that it had been necessary to take such steps but it was “important that we focus on patients needing urgent and emergency care as a priority.”
Anyone who is not contacted directly about an operation being postponed is urged to continue to attend appointments as usual.
It emerged two weeks ago that all 10 ambulance services in England were on the highest level of alert due to a combination of Covid absences among staff, difficulty caused by the hot weather and ongoing delays in handing over patients to A&E.
At the time, South Central Ambulance Service said it had also declared a critical incident and acknowledged there would be delays in responding to patients with less urgent needs who are assessed as requiring an ambulance response.
Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2022, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Emma Coles / PA.