Hospital turns away patients as heatwave forces critical incident

‘We are only able to treat patients with life threatening conditions and injuries,’ warns Portsmouth Hospital

Rebecca Thomas
Health Correspondent
Monday 11 July 2022 19:40 BST
<p>South Central Ambulance Service forced to declare a critical incident </p>

South Central Ambulance Service forced to declare a critical incident

Patients may be turned away at A&E in Portsmouth as the UK’s heatwave drives extreme hospital pressures.

Staffing pressures coupled with additional strain from the current heatwave have forced Portsmouth Hospitals University Foundation Trust to declare a critical incident.

The trust said it only had space in its emergency department for patients with life-threatening illnesses and critical conditions and so would be forced to redirect other patients elsewhere.

It comes as South Central Ambulance Service Trust also declared a critical incident due to the pressures on its services warning patients will face response delays.

In a statement, Portsmouth Hospitals University FT said: “Our emergency department remains full with patients and we have very limited space to treat emergency patients. We are only able to treat patients with life-threatening conditions and injuries, so anyone patients who arrive at ED without a life-threatening condition or injury, will be redirected to alternative services that can help...

“Our immediate priority is to ensure there are beds available to admit our most seriously ill patients into and we are focusing on safely discharging as many patients as possible. We ask that families and loved ones support us with this and collect patients as soon as they are ready to be discharged.”

The statement added staff and patients would be provided with additional water and ice creams as well as reviewing ventilation on its wards.

South Central Ambulance Service said in a statement: “South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) has declared a critical incident today (Monday, 11 July) due to current pressures on our services.

“We continue to prioritise our response to those patients with life-threatening and serious emergencies but, due to the current levels of pressure we are seeing, there will be delays in responding to other patients with less urgent needs who are assessed as requiring an ambulance response.”

Last week Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust was also forced to declare a fresh critical incident as it faced exceptional pressures on its emergency system, according to reports from the Shropshire Star.

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