Operations cancelled following A&E ‘surge’

Eastbourne DGH District General Hospital . January 3rd 2013 E01011Q ENGSUS00120140201134941
Eastbourne DGH District General Hospital . January 3rd 2013 E01011Q ENGSUS00120140201134941

Some DGH patients had their operations postponed last week following a ‘surge’ of A&E admissions.

The situation at the Eastbourne hospital mirrors that of others around the country, where A&E departments are seeing an ‘unprecedented demand’.

This comes as it was revealed no hospitals in Sussex are meeting the 95 per cent target to see patients within four hours.

The East Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust, which runs the Eastbourne DGH and Conquest Hospital in Hastings, saw only 88.6 per cent of patients in four hours last week.

On Tuesday last week, the trust opened up additional bed capacity in both hospitals to cope with the demand, and urged people to only attend A&E if it was an emergency.

Then on Thursday (January 8) the trust told the Gazette that some non-urgent operations had been postponed due to the pressure both Eastbourne DGH and The Conquest Hospital in Hastings were facing.

Richard Sunley Chief Operating Officer said, “During this recent period of increased emergency admissions to the hospital there has been a high demand for beds and regretfully some non urgent operations have been cancelled.

“We would apologise for the inconvenience and distress the cancellation of any operation causes.

“We do go to every effort to minimise this but, regrettably, there are occasions when this cannot be avoided. All patients whose operations are cancelled on the day are re-booked and operated on within 28 days.”

Dr David Hughes, Medical Director of governance at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said,it was important people thought carefully about visiting A&E if their GP, walk-in centre or even pharmacy may be able to help.

Last week he said, “Conquest and Eastbourne District General Hospitals are here to help anyone who needs urgent assessment and care; and we continue to provide that round the clock.

“Over the past few days we have seen unprecedented pressures on our services, particularly in the emergency departments and those needing urgent admission.

“We therefore need to make sure that our hospital beds and resources are saved for those who need them most.

“Due to the pressures we are facing, we are appealing to the public to think carefully about whether they need to visit A&E.

“You can really help us by taking the appropriate action to treat your condition, which might mean contacting your GP or attending a pharmacy, walk-in centre, minor injuries unit or ringing NHS 111.

“Better use of all the available services will help to ensure that we are able to treat those patients whose need is greatest.

“Our staff are working extremely hard to maintain these services and are to be commended.”