A lack of beds at the Hospital – caused by patients fit for discharge having nowhere to go – has forced Health to move its Medical Day Care Unit several times in the last few weeks.
The logjam is forcing the Hospital to cancel elective and private procedures in order to meet the demand for emergency admissions.
Health say they are now creating a new Medical Day Care Unit - the unit responsible for providing intravenous treatment to people with chronic conditions, such as multiple sclerosis - in Outpatients.
The new unit will be ready in two months’ time and will last until the new hospital is built.
The problem at the Hospital is laid bare in an email, seen by Express, which was sent last week to patients on behalf of a surgeon at the Hospital.
It said: “Please forgive the group email but we are now at the situation where too many patients have now had their operations cancelled for me to be able to contact you all individually. Firstly, once again I do apologise that your forthcoming operation... has been cancelled. This is due to a lack of beds at the Hospital.
“The Hospital is in crisis with the bed situation at the moment. Medical inpatients who are fit for discharge (but not fit enough to go back into their own homes) have nowhere to go as there are no beds available in care homes, due to lack of staffing.
“These patients cannot leave the Hospital without a safe place to go. Coupled with this, the Hospital had a significant rise in trauma patient admissions via A&E last weekend requiring surgery."
Pictured: Health say that a ‘bespoke’ Medical Day Care Unit will be built over the next eight weeks in the Outpatients wing of the General Hospital.
The message continued: “Getting through the surgeries for all of them took time which meant those Trauma patients were in for longer than normal, again putting pressure on availability of beds. The Hospital is expecting a similar situation this weekend. Therefore as it stands today, and for the foreseeable future, there are no spare beds at the Hospital.
“The long and the short of it is we cannot make a plan for when your operation can be rescheduled until we know when bed availability at the Hospital will improve. I therefore do not have a new operation date for you and I do not have a timescale for when your operation will take place. There are simply too many unknowns.
“What will likely happen is... future private operations will be cancelled and everyone will then have their surgery date move right by a few weeks. Once the plan can be finalised you will be the first to know.”
Health says that it recognises the pressure on beds and constantly reviews their number and allocation, and is working with all partners, including care homes and agencies, to keep disruption to a minimum.
On the specific issue of the Medical Day Care Unit, a Health spokesperson said: “Our MDU, which is based on Corbière Ward, has had to move location due to the need to increase our medical bed base for emergency admissions.
“Corbière Ward does already provide treatment for both in-patient and out-patients. HCS has taken this action, due to a large number of patients who are medically fit to be discharged but who are not able to be discharged to places for ongoing care, which subsequently allows us to use the space that the MDU was occupying and then convert this back to inpatient beds.
“Unfortunately, in the past couple of weeks, due to a lack of capacity throughout the Hospital, the MDU has had to move several times."
They added: “We apologise to the patients who have been affected due to this situation, which is beyond our control. We will continue to work flexibly within the confines of the current hospital to support as many Islanders as possible.
“We are now creating a bespoke area for the MDU, which will provide a long-term solution until the new hospital is ready.
“This area, which will be ready in the next eight weeks and be based in Outpatients, will mean that patients who attend the MDU will not need to be displaced in the future if there is a similar demand to the inpatient wards.
“As a short-term solution, from Monday, the MDU will be temporarily based in a separate location within Outpatients, while the longer-term solution is prepared.”
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.
There should be an independent investigation into these continued errors and poor performance, and heads must roll.