Influx of patients caused operation cancellations at Coventry hospital - The Rugby Observer

Influx of patients caused operation cancellations at Coventry hospital

Laura Kearns 13th Jan, 2018   0

AN INFLUX of patients caused operations to be cancelled at University Hospital Coventry so consultants could work in the busy Accident and Emergency department.

The hospital on Clifford Bridge Road has seen high numbers of patients over the festive period, and continues to do so into the new year.

The trust cancelled non-urgent operations such as knee or hip replacements for patients across Warwickshire, so doctors could staff the emergency department.

A hospital spokeswoman said: “During times of high pressure, we need to ensure that the most sick and vulnerable patients are able to receive any necessary treatment as soon as possible.

“To do this, unfortunately it is occasionally necessary to cancel some elective surgery. We work with our surgeons to ensure each patient is individually assessed before any decisions are taken. All children, urgent patients, and those with suspected cancer are admitted and have their operations as scheduled.”

Nearby Warwick Hospital has also been struggling under the pressure, with chief executive Glen Burley saying the A&E department was the busiest he had known it in his 11 years at the hospital.

Across Coventry and Warwickshire people have been advised to try alternative services if their illness or injury is not life-threatening.

The number of people being hospitalised due to so-called ‘deadly’ Australian flu also impacted services.

The strain is believed to have started in Australia and fuelled the worst flu crisis the country had experienced for around two decades, causing some 300 deaths.

In the UK the strain – which causes symptoms including fever, vomiting, sore throat, difficulty sleeping and headaches – has spread across the country in a matter of weeks.

Figures are reported nationally, with data from Public Health England showing 112 people were hospitalised last week – nearly triple the number reported the week before.

But director of healthcare at Public Health England West Midlands, Dr Helen Carter, said the rise was expected.

She told the Observer: “As we would expect at this time of year, our data shows more people are visiting GPs with flu symptoms and we are seeing more people admitted to hospitals with the flu.

“Flu activity has continued to increase in the last week or two. This is to be expected as the season progresses, and while no two flu seasons are the same, the numbers are in-keeping with previous years.

“The vaccine is the best defence we have against the spread of flu and it isn’t too late to get vaccinated.”

People are advised to contact their GP or pharmacist for more information on the flu jab.

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