QA issues desperate appeal for staff as demand in Portsmouth soars

Queen Alexandra Hospital
Queen Alexandra Hospital

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STRAINED hospital bosses issued a desperate plea by text and on Twitter for staff to work extra shifts amid a surge of patients over the New Year.

Queen Alexandra Hospital took to Twitter to beg staff to come in over New Year’s Eve and yesterday.

On Sunday the Cosham facility tweeted: ‘The hospital is extremely busy at the moment and we are asking any medical or nursing staff available for a shift tonight or tomorrow to make contact.’

Just hours later, staff were alerted by text that the hospital was in a ‘major incident’ with the site again appealing to doctors and nurses to work extra shifts if possible.

The news comes amid a nationwide spike in demand, which has seen hospital bed shortages over the holidays.

Now, doctors have warned the situation is likely to continue and are urging patients to only use QA if they are in urgent need.

Dr John Knighton, of Portsmouth NHS Trust – which runs QA – said the hospital was under ‘significant pressure’ at the moment.

He said: ‘There is lots of hard work going on to ensure we manage the demands we are currently facing which are likely to continue for the next few days.’

He is now appealing to people not to clog up QA’s A&E department with minor injuries and only go to hospital if they are seriously injured or ill.

‘The last thing we would want is for those people who really need to be seen by the emergency department to not come but it is important to remember that the department is for emergencies like severe head injuries, chest pain and loss of consciousness,’ he added.

‘There is a range of other services including NHS 111 and the minor injuries units that can treat cuts, sprains and minor fractures. Local pharmacies can also provide a wide range of advice and treatments for many common ailments and illnesses.’