NHS hospital issues rare ‘black alert’ as hundreds of patients flood A&E

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A NHS hospital has issued a "black alert" after being flooded with hundreds of A&E patients every day.

Barnsley Hospital warned it was “unable to deliver comprehensive care” and patient safety is at risk on Tuesday.

It issued the most serious NHS hospital stress alert as 15 people were left waiting for a bed in the department.

Internal emails revealed more than 300 daily arrivals at the South Yorkshire A&E department, the Independent reports.

An email sent to staff warned of the "pretty challenging" bed situation as the hospital was forced to declare Operations Pressure Escalation Levels.

It said more than 40 patients were in the emergency department and 15 of them were waiting for a bed.

By the evening, the number of patients in A&E escalated to 80 and 20 people were awaiting a bed.

The Independent reports that the high number of patients is due to A&E sickness rather than Covid-19.

Internal emails also showed that the hospital's emergency department was full this morning and 12 patients in A&E were waiting for a bed – but only two beds were available.

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Due to the high number of people seeking treatment, the hospital declared Opel 4 Status.

Staff were encouraged to “do everything possible” to free up beds, including early reviews of all inpatients and “encouraging medical teams to facilitate discharge”.

The Daily Star has approached Barnsley Hospital for comment.

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Its website states: "The 500 bed hospital was built in the 1970s and serves a population of over a quarter of a million people in the Barnsley area.

"Today, it continues to provide a full range of district hospital services to the local community and surrounding area."

Meanwhile, the number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 in the UK has risen to its highest level for nearly two months.

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A total of 1,378 patients were in hospital on June 20, according to the latest Government figures.

This is up 21% from the previous week, and is the highest since April 29.

  • NHS

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