No end in sight to big pressures on A&E
City hospital remains stretched by huge numbers needing urgent care
Huge pressure on A&E in Peterborough has continued into a second week with no signs of an immediate let-up. The trust which runs the hospital has been on Critical Internal Incident status on five of the last nine days and now hastheaddedcomplicationof snowforecastfromtomorrow.
The trust was last night on black alert, the second highest critical status, and is still trying to cope with what it has called an unprecedented demand for people needing emergency care.
Neil Doverty, chief operating officer at the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our staff across the trust have done a tremendous job in ensuring that patient care remainsourprioritywhilstwe have beenonCritical Internal Incident.
“Wemanagedtostepdown our capacity level yesterday but are continuing to see a high number of very poorly patients.”
The trust was on Critical Internal Incident status on TuesdaytoThursdaylastweek andMondayandTuesdaythis week.
During this period the average waiting times in the Emergency Department ranged from three hours 46 minutes on one day, to four hours five minutes on another, and over five hours on the other three days.
The number of patients to attend A&E during these periods varied from 229 to 276.
The reasons given for the severe pressure werethehigh numbers of people needing emergency care and delays in people leaving the hospital who are fit to do so.
Staff have been working paid overtime or have been moved across from other wards to hel.
That is set to continue over the coming days as the hospital prepares for forecasted snow and hail.
Mr Doverty said: “Following the announcement of the Level 3 Cold Weather WarningbytheMetOfficeweanticipate that patients may attend our Emergency Department with an increase in fractures, slips, falls and potentially hypothermia.
“We ask that the public follow the national guidance on this to help to prevent this where possible.
“We have implemented our Level 3 Cold Weather Action Plan to ensure that we can maintain a high standard of service across the trust for all of our patients.”
The plan includes gritting outside the hospital in Bretton.
MrDovertyadded:“Weask that unless it is an emergency the public continue to seek alternative treatment options, such as the Minor Illness and Injuries Unit onThorpeRoad, which is open from 8am to 8pm every day, or the Minor Injuries UnitatStamfordHospital, which is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, or speak to the local GP or pharmacist for help and advice.” A man who raped a woman in a Wisbech park has been jailed.
Linus Zukauskas, (27), of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment at Peterborough CrownCourtyesterdayafter previously pleading guilty to rape and theft.
The incident happened on the evening of October 21 last year when the victim, a woman in her 40’s, contacted Zukauskas to see if he wanted to go for a drink.
The pair met in the centre of Wisbech and bought somealcoholbeforeZukauskas suggested they go andsit in Tillery Park as it was dark andtheywouldn’tbeseenon CCTV drinking.
The victim reluctantly agreed and as the evening wentonZukauskasproceededtoholdherdownandrape her. He then left the park with her handbag.
Thewomanranhomeand told her partner what had happened and they called police. She underwent a medical examination which officers were able to use to link Zukauskas to the incident.
Detective Constable Faye Bussey said: “This was a nasty attack on a vulnerable woman. It tookagreatdealof courage for her to come forward and report it.
“This has been a lengthy and complicated case but justice has now been done and I hope this will provide some comfort to the victim.
“Reporting a sexual assault orrapecanbeextremely difficult for a victim. We want to ensure people that we take all reports seriously, no matter when they occurred, and have trained staff who will support you through the process.”
Zukauskas was also put on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
Peterborough City Hospital