Win­ter stress for NHS

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

WIN­TER pres­sures put Buck­ing­hamshire hos­pi­tals un­der stress, as crit­i­cal care beds were full and crit­i­cal pa­tients had to be trans­ferred.

Buck­ing­hamshire Health­care trust trans­ferred seven crit­i­cal care pa­tients in De­cem­ber for non-med­i­cal rea­sons, like lack of ca­pac­ity.

All the neonatal crit­i­cal care cots were full at Buck­ing­hamshire hos­pi­tals at mid­night on Christ­mas Day.

Lack of avail­able beds, ei­ther due to ‘bed block­ers’ or high de­mand has been blamed for the win­ter A&E cri­sis, which it­self has been blamed for hav­ing a knock on ef­fect in terms of pres­sure on other de­part­ments.

Dur­ing De­cem­ber, the trust saw its per­for­mance in see­ing 95 per cent of pa­tients within four hours drop be­low the tar­get, to 86 per cent in the week to De­cem­ber 21, and saw fur­ther drops in early Jan­uary.

Across Eng­land, de­lays to trans­fer­ring peo­ple out of A&E were blamed for the long waits the built up in emer­gency de­part­ments in De­cem­ber, which saw the pro­por­tion of peo­ple wait­ing longer than four hours to be treated, trans­ferred or dis­charged drop from 87.7 per cent at the start of the month to as low as 83.1 per cent in the week to De­cem­ber 21.

How­ever, the num­ber of peo­ple stuck wait­ing to leave hos­pi­tals fell and crit­i­cal care beds were less likely to be oc­cu­pied, although the num­ber of ur­gent op­er­a­tions can­celled jumped.

The num­ber of ur­gent op­er­a­tions, those that are ei­ther im­me­di­ately life, or­gan or limb threat­en­ing or those where it is agreed early in­ter­ven­tion is needed, jumped to 408 in De­cem­ber, from 319 in Novem­ber, the sec­ond high­est num­ber in fourand-a-half years, since 419 in Novem­ber 2011. There were 16 ur­gent op­er­a­tions can­celled twice or more, the high­est num­ber since Au­gust 2010.

The num­ber of peo­ple across Eng­land stuck wait­ing to leave hos­pi­tal on the last Thurs­day of De­cem­ber, which was Christ­mas Day, was 4,480, the low­est num­ber since June and down from 5,026 in Novem­ber.

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