UK news Hospital facing challenges as it makes a slow recovery last news
MetiNews.Com - 'In the event of a second Covid-19 surge the winter period could be one of the most difficult the NHS has faced for many years, if not ever.'
Breaking News ! West Suffolk Hospital is undergoing a slow recovery as the impact of the Covid-19 crisis across the hospital and patients becomes clear.In a report to the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) board ahead of a meeting today, the hospital admitted backlogs continue to grow despite continuing efforts to step up more urgent clinical services.At the end of June the total waiting list size had increased to 18,267, with 483 patients waiting more than 52 weeks.Visitors are soon to be allowed at West Suffolk Hospital (39466049)“This position will continue to worsen,” said a Covid-19 report to the board.“The waiting list size will likely continue to grow over the next few months as we see the demand increases quicker than the capacity available.” More than 6,000 outpatients are waiting for a first appointment, with the biggest numbers being in ENT/audiology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, urology and dermatology.West Suffolk Hospital (39466037)The report said outpatient activity had been steadily increasing since mid-April, but the total number of appointments was still significantly below pre-Covid-19.Meanwhile, there were 5,449 emergency department attendances in June compared to 4,880 in May – although levels are still lower than pre-Covid attendances of 6,426 in January. The board is set to hear today of increasing numbers of cancer referrals, however these have still not reached pre-coronavirus levels.Helen Beck, executive chief operating officer at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (39466198)The number of 104-day waits for cancer treatment is higher than normal at 70. The hospital said that of these, 47 were within colorectal due to endoscopy delays, but the backlog was being worked through as a priority.The report said there was currently adequate access to main theatres for cancer patients, but this could become a risk as the trust starts to receive higher referrals and diagnoses more cancers.
It does not expect to recover the waiting time standard before the end of the year.However, theatre activity is increasing, with the trust saying it is ‘making good use’ of BMI St Edmunds Hospital for breast, plastics, general surgery, pain and endoscopy.WSFT admits limited on-site Covid-19 testing remained a ‘major challenge’ and had a disproportionate impact on patient flow, as it delayed discharge in some cases.The report added: “Planning for winter has commenced.“In the event of a second Covid-19 surge the winter period could be one of the most difficult the NHS has faced for many years, if not ever.”Helen Beck, executive chief operating officer at WSFT, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on waiting times across the country and WSFT is no exception. We’d like to thank our patients and their families for their understanding and patience during these unprecedented times."“We have been prioritising our most urgent cases, including cancer referrals, since we restarted surgery and diagnostics at the hospital.“The extra safety and infection control measures mean the volume of planned procedures will not get back to the levels they were before Covid-19 for some time, particularly if the number of coronavirus cases starts to rise again.“We encourage everyone to help us prevent the spread of the virus by continuing to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water, social distancing and wearing face coverings where appropriate. This will help to avoid a spike of new Covid-19 cases in our area and assist us with our recovery.”
Source = MetiNews.Com