Friday, 9 January 2015

Great Western Hospital forced to erect TENT in car park after influx of patients

Non-essential operations at the hospital in Swindon have been cancelled for a second day due the heavy workload

Pressure: An overflow ambulance treatment tent in the car park of the Great Western Hospital
A busy NHS hospital was forced to erect a TENT in the car park as it struggled to cope with an influx of patients.
The large, green 'filed tent' was erected on the tarmac at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wilts., next to a mobile chemotherapy unit.
A rigid-framed structure, the tent could provide shelter for one ambulance or several hospital beds.
All non-essential operations at the hospital were cancelled for a second day in a bid to cut down on workload with none emergency patients being turned away.
The hospital trust admitted it was having to deal with "increased demand and growing pressure" on its services - but denied it had declared major incident status.
Michelle Kemp, Chief Operating Officer at the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We have made a decision to cancel all non-essential operations planned for today.
"It is not a decision we have taken lightly. All patients affected have been contacted and will be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity.
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"We are working with commissioners to ensure local people are reminded of the local healthcare options available."
Some 667 patients attended the emergency department over the weekend - with just 245 of these needed to be admitted to hospital for further care.
Ms Kemp added: "Due to the high demand it's essential all organisations work together to help manage the increased pressure on services so that we can continue to provide safe care to our patients.
"We are working extremely hard and doing everything we can to provide safe and high quality care to existing patients and make space for new patients.
"As we treat patients in order of clinical urgency, with the current surge in demand, it means that less urgent patients may be waiting longer than normal.
"A big thank-you to all of our dedicated staff, who are working so hard to maintain services and high quality patient care, at a very challenging time."
A South Western Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "The tent was erected at Great Western Hospital purely as a precautionary measure to support the hospital. It has now been removed."

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