Menu & Search

The NHS hospital which was categorised as “requires improvement” in the latest Care Quality Commission inspection report (published 15 May 2019) has since been so overwhelmed by patients that the senior doctors were told last week by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital trust to make “the least unsafe decision” when treating patients.

The Guardian newspaper reported that they had seen the message which said “We would like you to know that the trust will support you in making difficult decisions that may be the least unsafe decision, and we would appreciate your cooperation over the coming days with this.”

The trust sent the message out because the hospital was so overcrowded, at the time there were no spare beds, a full accident and emergency department and 35 patients waiting on trolleys to be admitted. A major internal incident was therefore declared. The hospital added to it’s circular “We are facing our most challenging situation with our trust today.”

Pryers recently reported the national increase in A&E visitors and wait times, but this Norfolk and Norwich trust has seen their A&E waits in excess of four hours has more than doubled from just over 2,000 to nearly 5,000 in the past year.

Dr Julia Patterson, a spokeswoman for EveryDoctor, which campaigns to improve doctors’ working conditions, said the trust’s message meant “optimal care is unavailable now for some NHS patients [because] ‘the least unsafe option’ is the best we can offer”.

“When hospitals are so full that there are no intensive care beds, no hospital beds at all, and essential operations are being cancelled because there’s simply no one to do the surgery, then every option carries undue risk.”

Dr Sue Crossland, the president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said the message was worrying. “We would always support our members to make safe decisions, despite the pressures we face from all sides. We acknowledge the dire situation that we all find ourselves in, but we must always make safe decisions and give our patients the best care possible. Patients and their families deserve to know that trusts are providing the best and safest care.”

Over the weekend, staff at the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) received a text message asking for support to the A&E departments in NHS Norfolk, it said “Potentially looking for some staff this afternoon to care for patients in the ED departments across Norfolk & Waveney.”

One paramedic told their local press, that they might be asked or expected to occasionally help monitor a patient as they drop them off, but to be asked to come in and work in the A&E Department is a first. However, a spokesperson for Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) said “It is established practice for all trusts to make use of paramedic support in emergency departments as part of the overall winter plan.”

The Hospital has not yet needed to use additional resource from the Ambulance Service, but it must be looking at all options to ensure patient safety across what is proving to be an exceptionally busy time.

If your health has suffered due to poor standard of care please get in touch and find out how our medical negligence experts can help you.

Start Your Claim Today1904556600
Tell us about your case

Just send us a little bit about yourself and your claim and we will respond within 24 hours.


Get In Touch
Latest News

NHS facing huge legal bill to settle clinical negligence claims

According to a recent BBC Freedom of Information request, the NHS is currently facing paying legal costs of £4.3bn to settle all outstanding claims […]

Read More

Warring Great Ormond Street surgeons put children’s safety at risk

Young patient’s treatment is being compromised after recent reports came to light over two surgeons warring against one another. The surgical urology team which […]

Read More

Cosmetic Surgeon suspended following a finding of professional misconduct

Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr Ashish Dutta was given a nine month suspension by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal following a hearing which found him to have […]

Read More

Take a look back through our complete news archive

Follow us on Twitter

Following on from yesterdays article we'd like to advise drivers to be vigilant when driving on icy roads during the two coldest months of the year.

#RoadSafety #Cycling

Cyclists could be faced similar offences to that of drivers after the 'Dangerous cycling bill' was introduced into the House of Lords

#RoadSafety #Cycling

https://road.cc/content/news/270443-dangerous-cycling-bill-introduced-house-lords

Load More...