Hospitals in Hull and Leeds Postponing Routine Ops

9 January 2017, 19:02 | Updated: 9 January 2017, 19:03

Hospital scene

A hospital is postponing some routine operations, saying it is full due to the amount of people being admitted through A&E.

The trust that runs Hull Royal Infirmary has urged people to stay away from its accident department unless they are "seriously ill or a person's condition is considered life-threatening''.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said it has seen "bed occupancy exceed capacity'' over the past week as "local hospitals deal with an increase in the amount of sick people admitted through the A&E Department at Hull Royal Infirmary''.

In a statement, the trust said: "In order to free up beds and consultant time to ensure those with more urgent care needs can be accommodated, the trust will be postponing some routine elective operations and clinics.''

Kevin Phillips, Chief Medical Officer for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Hospitals regularly come under pressure at this time of year, and we do have plans in place to deal with these, but over the last week we have seen a volume of patients been admitted in to our hospitals which is over and above what we would predict for this time of year.

"Many of these are very poorly people who are then being admitted to hospital, but there are still some which could be treated elsewhere.

"We are urging people to exercise common sense and to look at alternative treatment options unless they are seriously ill or a person's condition is considered life-threatening. This will allow us to concentrate our efforts on the very poorly people who are within our hospitals at the moment.

"The decision to postpone any operation or clinic is not one we take lightly as we are mindful of the impact this can have on a patient and their family. However, to ensure those who require more urgent care needs, we are going to have to postpone some routine elective operations and clinics.''

Mr Phillips said patients affected would be notified and thanked medical staff at the hospitals involved.

The trust also runs Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham, near Hull.

Mr Phillips said: "I would personally like to pay tribute to the doctors, nurses and therapists who are helping our services keep going at this moment by ensuring a flow is maintained through the hospital and the limited space we do have is being utilised to its maximum potential.

"We are continuing to work extremely hard with our partners, who are playing a huge part in creating additional capacity in the community to allow us to safely discharge those patients who are medically fit to leave our hospitals.''

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Leeds General Hospital and St James's University Hospital, said it was also having to postpone some routine operations.

Chief nurse and deputy chief executive Suzanne Hinchliffe said: "The NHS nationally is experiencing unprecedented levels of demand and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust is no exception.

"We are continuing to see high numbers of frail, elderly patients attending our A&E departments who are extremely ill and require admission to one of our hospitals.

"We are also experiencing difficulties discharging those patients who are medically fit to be discharged to more appropriate settings. This is as a result of our health and social care partners and providers facing similar pressures.

"Regrettably this means that we have needed to postpone a number of planned operations and these are decisions that we do not take lightly. We apologise to all our patients for the upset and inconvenience this causes.

"Our key priority at this time is to ensure that patients receive the safest possible care and our staff are working extremely hard to keep delays to a minimum.

"We are extremely grateful to our staff for everything they are doing at this very challenging time.

"We would urge patients who do not need urgent hospital treatment to use alternative services such as their GP surgery, NHS111, minor injury units or their community pharmacy.''