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Colchester Hospital closes beds to help "manage pressure" on staff

A number of extra beds opened up at Colchester Hospital have now been closed. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A number of extra beds opened up at Colchester Hospital in Essex to help cope with "unprecedented demand" in A&E have now been closed.

The hospital argues that the amount of patients using the additional beds were stretching staff resources too much.

Two weeks ago a 'major incident' was declared, after a surprise inspection by the CQC found staff struggling to cope with the number of patients.

Normal service resumed on Wednesday, after patients were discharged and operations were postponed.


Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell delighted after "internal major incident" is lifted

Sir Bob Russell. Credit: PA

Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell has expressed his delight that the "internal major incident" at Colchester Hospital has been lifted.

The hospital has returned to "normal working" following a period where staff struggled to cope with unprecedented demand.

“This has clearly been a very worrying time for all associated with the Hospital, staff and patients, as well as residents throughout our part of Essex.

I am delighted that the prompt action taken has led to this outcome, although I recognise this has been at the expense in particular of cancelled operations which I hope can be speedily reinstated. We are, of course, still left with the fact that the Hospital remains in ‘special measures’ but I am reassured that positive steps to work towards overcoming deep-rooted management structure issues will result in this aspect being resolved – although when is uncertain.”

– Sir Bob Russell MP

"Internal major incident" stood down as Colchester Hospital returns to normal working

Colchester General Hospital. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Colchester Hospital has announced that it has returned to "normal working".

The Trust declared a "internal major incident" earlier this month after staff struggled to cope with unprecedented demand and patients were told to stay away from its A & E department if possible.

The Care Quality Commission had raised safeguarding concerns following an inspection.

“It was clear at the time of the CQC visit that our staff, particularly in the Emergency Department and the Emergency Assessment Unit, were under serious pressure.

Pressure in the hospital has now been reduced, not least because people are considering carefully whether they really need to come to the Emergency.

In addition, with the support of our health partners, including North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, GPs and community services – we are confident we will be able to discharge more patients from the hospital in the coming days.

This will enable our staff to concentrate their efforts on the patients who really need acute care."

– Dr Lucy Moore, Trust Chief Executive


Colchester MP holds meeting with Health Secretary about hospital


Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell has held a meeting with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss the latest situation at Colchester Hospital.

Last week, Colchester General declared a major incident after the Care Quality Commission raised safeguarding concerns following an inspection.

Sir Bob says he believes the term 'major incident' is misleading and overstates the reality of the situation. He believes the 'major incident' will be lifted within the next few days.

The MP said he has been assured the problems highlighted by the Care Quality Commission are being addressed.

Sir Bob Russell MP

While over the years I have received complaints from patients and members of their families about their experiences at Colchester General Hospital, it is fair to say that expressions of gratitude are considerably greater.I wish to again place on record my appreciation to the medical and support staff at Colchester General Hospital. I am keen to do what I can to support them. Negativity can be so demoralising.I look forward to the lifting of “major incident” in the next few days, and for the ending of “special measures” as soon as possible.

– Sir Bob Russell MP

Colchester hospital: latest update

Colchester General is still declaring a major incident Credit: ITV News Anglia

Hospital bosses in Colchester say they are not yet in a position to stand down the internal major incident.

Last week, Colchester General declared a major incident after the Care Quality Commission raised safeguarding concerns following an inspection.

At the time the hospital said it was facing unprecedented demand on its services.

A spokesman has revealed they postponed 12 elective (non-emergency, non-cancer) operations on Monday and they are anticipating to postpone more non-emergency, non-cancer surgery tomorrow (Tuesday).

Pressure on the A & E department did decrease today and the Emergency Assessment Unit reopened.

A hospital spokesman said the situation would be reviewed on a daily basis.

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