BASILDON and Thurrock University Hospitals has taken the unusual decision to declare an internal critical incident, due to a lack of beds in Basildon Hospital.After more than a week on black’ alert, the Trust has been unable to discharge enough patients to meet the demands of new patients arriving in A black’ alert and it is a very unusual step for the Trust.By moving to a critical incident: We have cancelled significant amounts of elective work to release resources within the hospital to see and treat patients. We are reviewing outpatient clinics with a view to cancelling these where releasing specialists could make a difference and speed decision making. We are working with community partners to speed up transfers of care. Non-essential meetings are cancelled. Non-clinical staff are asked to support wards and other clinical areaswherever possible.Tom Abell, deputy chief executive, said “This has been a difficult decision to make. We are well versed in responding to peaks in demand and our dedicated staff rise to the challenge, sometimes working extra hours, sometimes taking on different roles.”However, the current waiting times for patients in A&E are unacceptable. Despite our best efforts, we simply cannot balance the number of very sick people we already have in our beds with the extra people arriving in A&E, so we need to do something different”I would like to ask the public for their understanding and cooperation. If you have an upcoming appointment at Basildon or Orsett Hospital, please arrive as planned unless you are contacted and told otherwise.
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