MK University Hospital confirm site facing extreme pressure

Jeremy Hunt apologises as NHS operations delayed			
   by Paul Miles 

The shortage in hospital beds is not the only issue, however, as medical institutions were warned by the National Emergency Pressures Panel (NEPP) to also change their approach to cases which do not require patients to remain in the hospital overnight.

Some 55,000 operations will be affected by the delays.

Officials said Wednesday that extreme seasonal pressure on Britain's hospital system means many non-urgent procedures must be put off for weeks to free up staff and beds to deal with emergency patients.

"Clearly we would like to devote as much time as possible to caring for these patients so that they get well quickly and do not need to stay in hospital for extended periods of time. That is why we are making these further recommendations today".

The call comes while the National Institute for Health Research conducts research into whether Alcohol Intoxication Management Services (AIMS), or "drunk tanks", should be rolled out as a way of managing drunk patients. We are asking local people to use the service carefully so it can best support those who need it most - for example, people with serious injuries, chest pain or significant blood loss.

Chief executive Calum Campbell said: "This is an unparalleled situation in Lanarkshire and exceptional circumstances need exceptional measures to enable us to deliver our number one healthcare priority - patient safety".

"But I recognize for those people that have had their operations postponed this is disappointing, it's frustrating".

A spokesman added that the hospital ensures it is clinically safe to cancel an operation or appointment before doing so.

Mrs Cooper said a Labour government would create more funding and staffing for the NHS, principally by taxing higher earners.

The hospital has also opened an unprecedented number of escalation beds in order to provide care for acutely unwell patients.

Non urgent procedures and some outpatient appointments have been cancelled until at least next month to help A&E departments cope with winter demand.

Cordery also said it was "right to highlight the advice for people who are seeking advice for non-emergencies, so staff in A & E can focus on the sickest patients".

Newcastle, Bristol, Manchester and Cardiff already offer supervised areas - more commonly called "drunk tanks" - where drunk revellers can be checked over, and even sleep it off, instead of being taken to A&E unnecessarily.

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