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Operational pressures at Northampton General Hospital

We are operating at our highest level of operational pressures escalation - known as OPEL 4 - for the fourth consecutive day.

This means that we are operating under extreme pressure and we do not have enough bed capacity to admit patients who need assessment and treatment.

What we are doing:

  • Our focus during this period is prioritising our most unwell patients.
  • Those patients who need to be admitted for assessment or treatment may have to wait for a bed to become available. Although they may have to wait for longer than we would like, we are working hard to keep them safe and as comfortable as possible.
  • Patients who are not seriously or critically unwell may have to wait longer than usual to be seen in A&E.
  • Patients who do not require emergency services are being redirected, either to their own GP or to our urgent care centre at Springfield.
  • All wards are working hard to ensure that those patients who are medically fit to leave can go home as soon as possible. Staying in hospital longer than necessary puts our patients at risk.
  • We have a number of patients who are fit to be discharged but are unable to return home without a care package or who may need to have a placement at a nursing or care home. We're working with our health and social care partners to make those arrangements as soon as possible.

Impact on operations and appointments

  • Patients with a scheduled appointment should attend as requested if we haven't been in touch to cancel.
  • At the request of NHS England, in anticipation of a challenging period, many routine elective operations were not scheduled so the impact on patient numbers is minimal at this stage. Nevertheless, any delay is unsettling and potentially distressing for our patients and we will work hard to carry out operations as quickly as possible once our position has stabilised. In some cases we will run clinics and theatres outside usual hours, including weekends.
  • Emergency operations and urgent cancer procedures are unaffected.
  • Outpatient appointments are largely unaffected where they do not impact on bed capacity. 
Posted on Wednesday 3rd January 2018
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