Pressure on A&E continues
The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust had a very busy festive period, treating 2,800 patients aged between three days old and 100 years-of-age through its' emergency department: 1,060 patients were admitted for further care.
The three day period between New Year’s Day and Sunday night was extremely busy with over 950 patients seen and 330 patients admitted. The Trust would like to apologise to those patients who had to wait a long time to be transferred to a bed in the hospital. Saturday 2 January saw the highest number of A&E attendances over the period, with 341 patients coming through the door with a wide range of conditions, including respiratory problems, abdominal pain, fever, limb injury and chest pain: although this was the busiest day for A&E in terms of patients seen, it was Sunday 27 December that saw the highest number of admissions with 134 patients needing a hospital bed out of 309 patients who attended the department that day. On many of the days over the break, admittance to a hospital bed via A&E was up by as much as 25% on last year.
Because of the continuing pressures for beds, doctors at the hospital are asking the public to continue to ensure that they only come to A&E with real emergencies. The range of other non-life saving emergency services, including local walk in and minor injuries units, can be found on www.nhs.uk
Between Christmas and the New Year, the Trust also carried out 198 planned operations - something quite unusual for a hospital at this time of year. Most hospitals close down elective planned care work because of winter pressures but the Trust wanted to see if it could keep its Theatres open to ensure patients continued to receive timely planned care.
Jean O’Callaghan, Trust Chief Executive, said: “On behalf of the Board I’d like to say thank you to everyone who worked over the Christmas period. It was very busy.
"We coped well in difficult circumstances largely due to a lot of hard work done in the days leading up to Christmas Eve in planning safe discharges for a large number of patients. This meant that we had a good number of beds available ahead of the long weekend period. Many staff worked extra shifts to increase services available over the weekend and there was very good team work across the Trust.
"We would like to apologise to those of our patients who may have had to wait a considerable time for treatment or transfer to a bed . We would also like to extend a thank you to the South Central Ambulance Service and all other community health care providers who helped us with patient care over this period. We’ve treated a lot of very sick people, of varying ages, who needed our care."
Dr Omar Nafousi, Emergency Medicine Consultant (Paediatrics) who was working on Christmas Day said: “It was a busy day for the department, but the A&E team worked extremely hard and provided our patients with the best clinical care possible.
“The team would like to thank members of the public who came into the department on Christmas Day to thank us for all our hard work during the year. Their kind words and well wishes were a huge morale boost for those of us working on the day and showed how much our hard work throughout the year is appreciated.”
Midwives at The Royal Berkshire Hospital also delivered 12 babies on Christmas Day and 15 on New Year’s Day.