QA Hospital declared a critical incident this weekQA Hospital declared a critical incident this week
QA Hospital declared a critical incident this week

Advice for patients after QA Hospital declared ‘critical incident’ this week

A critical incident was declared by Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust this week.

That was due to the high number of very unwell patients needing admission through the A&E department and the hospital already being full of patients needing care.

This high demand meant NHS staff have seen delays for patients arriving by ambulance – and those walking into the A&E department - that are much longer than patients would expect.

A Trust spokesperson told The News: “We know that this is not acceptable and assure our communities and patients that we are working hard to improve the situation.

“The Emergency Department will continue to redirect patients to alternative services when appropriate and would like to remind everyone that ED (emergency department) is only for people with life threatening illnesses and injuries.

Dr John Knighton, Medical Director at PHU Trust, said: "We are sorry that patients are experiencing longer waits than we would like.

"Our teams continue to work hard to ensure the needs of our patients are met. However, the Emergency Department at QA Hospital is seeing a high number of very unwell people attending who need admission.

“This combined with a reduction in the number of patients ready to be discharged has led to it becoming increasingly challenging for us to deliver timely care.

"The safety and wellbeing of our patients and our staff is important and unfortunately, due to the sustained and significant pressure we have been facing, we have declared a critical incident.

“Declaring a critical incident means that we will be prioritising the treatment of emergency patients with life-threatening illnesses or injuries. Anyone who attends the Emergency Department but doesn’t need to be treated there will be redirected to an alternative service.

“If you aren’t sure which service is best for your needs, or whether it is appropriate to self-manage at home, please visit nhs.111 online.”

Liz Rix, Chief Nurse at PHU Trust, said, “We continue working closely with providers across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to safely discharge anyone who no longer requires care within our hospital.

"We ask that if you have loved ones ready to return home, to help by collecting them as soon as they are ready, make sure they have appropriate clothes and shoes to go home in, and know what the plan is for any non-medical support they may need once home.

“Our staff are working tirelessly to keep patients safe and care for those who need us. Please remember to treat them with the same respect and kindness we would expect them to show you.”

Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust say they will be “reviewing the situation regularly and thanks our staff, communities and partners for their ongoing support.”

Top tips for helping your local hospital:

Contact your GP Practice during their regular opening hours.

You can visit NHS 111 Online or call 111 if:

You need medical help fast, but it's not a 999 emergency.

You don't know who to call for medical help or you don't have a GP to call.

You think you need to go to the Emergency Department or another service such as an Urgent Treatment Centre.

You require health information or reassurance about what to do next.

You have an urgent mental health concern and don’t know where to turn.

The Healthier Together Hampshire website and app can help with advice relating to an unwell child:

Get vaccinated – if you’re eligible for a winter flu or COVID vaccine, get it as soon as possible.

Keep warm and well and look out for vulnerable family and friends. Get more support via Portsmouth City Council's website:

If you live in the Portsmouth area and need mental health support, you can contact the Portsmouth Mental Health Hub on 0300 123 6621 (Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm).

Urgent Treatment Centres (UTC) can help with urgent illnesses or injuries that aren’t life-threatening such as broken bones and sprains, cuts and grazes, skin infections and rashes.

Your closest UTCs are located at:

St Mary’s (8am-8pm, seven days a week)

Gosport (open 8am-10pm seven days a week)

Petersfield (8am-8pm, seven days a week)

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