Hospital on ‘black alert’ appeals for people to use alternatives

Hull Royal Infirmary which has been on "black alert" all week.
Hull Royal Infirmary which has been on "black alert" all week.
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A HOSPITAL emergency department on “black alert” has drafted in extra staff ahead of the Bank Holiday to try and avoid a repeat of earlier this week when they ran out of beds.

Hull Royal Infirmary’s emergency department has declared a black alert - the highest level of alert meaning there is no further capacity - all week as it experiences “extreme pressures.”

On Monday patients had to be diverted to Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby for several hours, in an attempt to ease the pressure.

Tonight Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust - itself on “purple alert”, a step down from “black”, meaning its position is critical - said the number of patients being discharged had not kept pace with a high number of admissions, leading to delays for beds.

They had been further hampered by a number of ward closures and restrictions owing to outbreaks of sickness and diarrhoea.

Extra doctors, nurses and pharmacists have been trying to discharge patients who no longer need to be in a hospital bed, in some cases with the help of social services.

The trust has joined Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), which is expecting a significant increase in 999 calls this weekend, in urging people to use alternatives wherever possible. YAS has faced a crisis for months over its failure to hit 999 response targets.

Simon Nearney, the trust’s director of workforce, said: “We hope the work we have been doing today will stand us in good stead for the Bank Holiday weekend, when we often see an increase in attendances, and we would like to thank all of those staff who have been flexible in helping to support this work.”

Alternatives to Hull Royal Infirmary include Bransholme Minor Injury Unit which is open from 9am to 8pm, seven days a week, and Story Street Walk-in Centre, within Wilberforce Health Centre in Hull city centre, which is open from 8am to 8pm every day of the year.