Addenbrooke’s Hospital declares state of emergency and warns only to attend A&E unless it is absolutely essential
PUBLISHED: 00:14 07 January 2015 | UPDATED: 00:33 07 January 2015
Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, declared a state of emergency last night by cancelling all non emergency surgery and urging patients not to attend A & E unless it was absolutely essential.
Chief executive Dr Keith McNeil said that the hospital has been under “extreme pressure” since New Year’s Eve and “for the past two days we have been in critical internal incident mode”
He said that as of 7pm last night the hospital had declared “a major incident due to unprecedented levels of demand on our services.”
The hospital was dealing with especially high numbers of frail elderly patients combined with a record level of patients whose medical care is finished and whose discharge is delayed.
He said: “Our priority is to care safely for the patients already in the hospital and arrange the safe discharge of those who are well enough to go home and to ensure that we can provide care for those who require urgent treatment.
“Giving the extreme circumstances, we are contacting the relatives of patients who are medically fit to go home, with ongoing care needs such as feeding or personal care and asking them, wherever possible, to take their relative home while adult social care put their care packages in place.
“As part of our plans to manage high demand on our services, we have cancelled all non- emergency surgery and procedures. Right across the country the situation is similar. Ambulance and community services are also under pressure and this has put additional pressure onto acute hospitals.”
Dr McNeil added: “We would therefore ask patients not to attend A&E unless they have an emergency or life threatening condition.
“I would like to thank all staff, whether based in the hospital or in the community, who are working very hard to ensure we can continue to provide care to our patients in these challenging circumstances.