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Midlands Covid crisis as hospitals axe operations and go to highest alert level

Health bosses in Derbyshire said there had been a ‘significant increase’ in sick patients and that in a single day A&E departments saw 1,038 patients

A county’s healthcare system under ‘severe pressure’ has moved to its highest alert level and begun cancelling some operations.

NHS and care services across Derbyshire sounded the alarm after seeing a huge surge in patients in recent days.

Health bosses in the region said there had been a ‘significant increase’ in sick patients and that in a single day the A&E departments saw 1,038 patients.

The numbers were seen at Chesterfield Royal, Royal Derby Hospital and Queen’s Hospital, Burton on Monday.

It has now prompted some hospitals to reportedly move to ‘Opel 4’ – which signifies a hospital is ‘unable to deliver comprehensive care.’

Brigid Stacey, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “All our staff working in health and care services are trying to make sure we see people who need us.



Some operations are now being cancelled
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Image:

Derby Telegraph)




“Pressure is on every part of the health and care system from our GPs working tirelessly to return every call to a patient in need, to beds being limited in care homes due to staffing shortages and outbreaks of illnesses.

“As always we are working together as a system to do everything we can to make sure we get the care to everyone who needs it.

“We need the public to help us and this might include helping us when patients are ready for discharge from hospital.”

Hospital patients in the region with confirmed Covid made up 77 patents across three sites, an increase from 65 a week ago.

Eleven of those are said to be in a critical condition.

Those visiting A&E had also increased and the health body said there had been a ‘significant increase in poorly patients with other illnesses.’







They said the rise in patient numbers meant longer wait times with ambulances having to wait outside A&E before crews could pass on their patients.

Hospital beds were also said to be ‘filling to capacity.’

Berenice Groves, Chief Operating Officer at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, said: “We want to offer the best care to all of our patients whether it’s via A&E so they get the urgent care they need or a specialist team to treat cancer or other urgent conditions.

“We’re having to redeploy staff from our operating theatres to work in critical care units, which unfortunately means we need to cancel some operations. If you’re called with a cancellation then we know this will be disappointing.

“Please be assured we are only doing this where necessary and feel we have little alternative. Please try to be understanding when our staff call.









“Families can also really help us by supporting their loved ones to go home whilst they await a care package or accept a placement in a care home. We know this is not ideal and we are grateful to families for continuing to do everything they can to support loved ones to return home so we can get patients who really do need to be in hospital into a bed quicker.”

Dr Magnus Harrison, medical director at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, added: “People turning up at hospitals with minor illnesses are waiting a very long time for treatment.

“We have seen people who have attended A&E with coughs and colds, which can be easily treated by a pharmacist or at home.

“For more advice and guidance, visit 111.co.uk who can direct you to the most appropriate service.”


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