Planned surgery has been delayed after a ‘surge’ of patients at Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.
On Sunday, April 12, 32 ambulances attended PRH and 108 to the Royal County Hospital in Brighton – compared to the ‘normal’ figure of 100 across both sites.
Matthew Kershaw, chairman of the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust, which runs the hospital, had warned the Easter weekend would be busy.
However, since then, he said the situation became ‘more and more difficult’, adding that since the end of last week both the PRH and County Hospitals have been ‘extremely challenged’.
He said: “For the duration of last week, the number of patients coming in didn’t significantly increase but we did see higher levels of the care required for those who did, so
once they were admitted they needed to stay for longer. This meant we discharged fewerpatients home and our ability to discharge patients was also hampered by the effects of theholiday period on the responsiveness of some of the services we need to help us discharge patients safely to their own homes or another place of care.
“On top of this gradual ‘seizing up’ of flow, yesterday we had a surge in ambulance attendances; 108 at the County and 32 at PRH compared to the 100 across both sites we would expect on a ‘normal’ Sunday. So come Monday morning, we had no headroom and as a result we have had to make some very difficult decisions in order to restore flow and do our best for the patients already in our care. Decisions which we are acutely aware can be to the detriment of those patients awaiting planned surgery.”
Mr Kershaw said the trust aimed to build a ‘more flexible and responsive unscheduled care system’.
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