Sunday, March 22, 2015

NHS Trust says bed shortage at WCH and Carlisle hospitals is easing

Hat tip to "@myhitehaven" on Twitter and the News and Star for the information that the Cumbria NHS authorities say the bed shortage is easing.

North Cumbrian University Hospitals NHS Trust - which runs The Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and Whitehaven's West Cumberland Hospital - declared an emergency on Thursday after running out of beds. Some patients had to be transferred to hospitals 75 miles away.

But the NHS group that controls much of the county's health spending - the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) - said the pressure on hospital beds has improved during the last 24 hours as officials worked to improve "patient flow" through the hospitals. A statement issued today said officials were still working to reduce the strain on the Trust’s ability to safely carry out its normal routine business while at capacity because patients were not "flowing through the system".

The statement said:

"All efforts are focussed on making sure this can happen as quickly as possible so that hospitals in Carlisle and Whitehaven can get back to routine business.

"Health and social partners are working to make sure patients who do not need to be in an acute hospital bed, are safely discharged to a more appropriate care setting or home with the right package of care.

"As usual, services are extremely busy over the weekend and the local health economy is calling on the public to play their part and use services appropriately."

The CCG urged people to:

* Think twice before using A&E or calling 999;
* To think about using other NHS services such as walk-in centres and pharmacies or call Cumbria Health on Call (out of hours) on 03000 247247 for advice on alternative urgent services available

 * Stay away from hospital if they have any symptoms of sickness or diarrhoea.

A CCG spokesperson added:

“A tremendous effort has been made by all partners so that the Cumbrian health system can provide support and assistance during this incident and these efforts have shown the robustness of the system in coping in times such as these.

"However, this does not mean we are complacent and we will continue to work together to ensure the situation continues to improve.”


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