Bed space under pressure at Brighton hospital

Posted On 25 Sep 2010 at 10:01 am

Pressure for beds grew at Brighton and Hove’s main hospital last weekend, prompting a rallying cry to staff yesterday from health chief Duncan Selbie.

The Royal Sussex County Hospital had a surge in admissions last weekend while experiencing delays in discharging patients who no longer need treatment.

Mr Selbie, chief executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Sussex, said: “We have never been as busy nor squeezed so much from our beds and services.”

Admissions were 25 per cent higher than expected for the time of year and the number has been rising recently.

Mr Selbie said: “The last few weeks have been as a consequence rather demanding and I appreciate the extra that has been given by everyone in responding to this.

“We need to get a better balance between admission and discharge.”

He said that Dr Jo Andrews, the trust’s chief of clinical operations, and his team were working with primary care trusts and community services across the county.

A report to the trust board, which meets on Monday, said that he bed blocking figures for July and August “do not do justice to the excellent performance made in this area with NHS Brighton and Hove”.

It added that a renewed focus in East and West Sussex over the past few weeks had also seen improvements.

Urging further improvements, Mr Selbie added: “We also need to ensure that the time patients spend in our care is spent wisely, and that we match our care and compassion with order and efficiency.

“This is something each one of us can make a difference on.

“We may have to compromise on the environment in which we provide care but never on the standard of care, however difficult this is to consistently achieve.”

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