Hospital full to capacity and misses NHS targets
PUBLISHED: 11:34 03 January 2019
Weston General Hospital suffered the worst record in the area for the amount of general and acute beds it had available to patients last month.
The hospital, in Grange Road, was either full to capacity or at a 90 per cent occupancy rate at the beginning of last month – which has contributed to ambulance drop-off delays and NHS targets to be missed.
Figures published by NHS England highlight the scale of the issue, with some people waiting for more than an hour to be treated after they arrived at the hospital by ambulance.
The figures for December 3-16 are the first in a series to be published by NHS England which looks at winter pressures on the health trust.
Findings show most people had to wait more than half an hour to be seen at the hospital after ambulance crews arrived there, with the target being 15 minutes.
It also shows every bed which is dedicated to adults in critical care was full, except for on December 3.
During this time the hospital saw an outbreak of norovirus which caused the trust to close 12 of its available beds.
A spokesman for the hospital says there has been a rise in demand for its services and as a result has opened up escalation beds, those which are not routinely open and staffed 24/7, to cope with the number of patients who are admitted to the trust.
Weston General Hospital’s director of operations, Phil Walmsley, said: “Winter is a challenging time of year across the NHS and our staff work closely to support timely discharges for those who are ready to go home.
“Patients tell us they do not want to stay in hospital for any longer than is necessary and by providing rehabilitation services in the community the hospital is helping patients to get home quicker than they could before.
The trust’s A&E department, which saw an overnight closure of its services in place since July 2017, also has a doctor and physiotherapist who both treat elderly patients to enable them to go home sooner.
Mr Walmsley added: “We know unnecessary waiting in hospital leads to harm and through close teamwork and adopting a ‘home first’ attitude, we can minimise these delays and improve patient safety.”
A new set of figures is due to be published today (Thursday).