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Derriford opens 'escalation' beds amid Red Alert status

Credit: ITV West Country

Staff at Derriford Hospital have had to fill almost every available space with extra beds after a surge in patients needing emergency care.

The hospital is currently on red alertand a number of operations have been cancelled to help cope with the high number of attending A&E.

Extra staff have been hired in the hope of removing some of the 41 extra beds.

Yesterday was a better day, so although the hospital remains very busy, we do have beds available and today we are hoping to close some of the 41 escalation beds.

We remain on red alert. We would like to once again apologise to anyone whose operation or procedure has been cancelled as a result of the emergency pressures.

Our staff are working hard to re-book people affected as soon as possible. We would like to end by thanking the public for the amazing messages of support we have received, on social media and in person for our staff and the work they do.

Our staff are working incredibly hard and these comments have been much appreciated at a tough time.

– Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

'Every extra bed in every extra space' in use at Derriford Hospital

Credit: ITV News

Derriford Hospital is currently on Red Alert and extremely busy after a surge in patients needing emergency care.

The hospital says a high number of patients have attended A&E, many of whom are acutely unwell and need to be admitted as medical emergencies.

We have opened 41 'escalation' beds - every extra bed in every extra space we have. However, these beds are not planned for and therefore we did not have rostered staff to care for patients in these beds. Hence why we have been appealing for staff to work additional shifts, offering additional payments and used other temporary staff.

– Derriford Hospital website
"Every extra bed in every extra space we have" is being used Credit: ITV News

The hospital says it put many measures in place to try to prevent the winter demand overwhelming their services - including increasing staff and working with the council's discharge team.

But despite everything we have done, meeting increased demand from a population that is living longer but with more illness and disability, as an acute hospital is extremely difficult.

– Derriford Hospital website
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Planned operations and procedures per day are being cancelled.

The hospital added on its website that they "apologise sincerely to those patients affected" by the measures, and that staff are working extremely hard to try to minimise the effect.

  • If patients need non-emergency medical care, please contact your GP or, out-of-hours, NHS 111
  • If you have an appointment at Derriford Hospital please attend as planned, unless contacted otherwise

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Derriford Hospital spent thousands coping with black alert

Derriford Hospital spends thousands coping with black alert Credit: ITV News

Derriford Hospital spent nearly £2 million on over time and agency staff in just one month as it coped with huge demand due to its black alert status.

For the first three months of this year the Plymouth hospital declared black alert as it dealt with what it describes as "unprecedented and sustained" demand.

As people will know, we faced a significant period of unprecedented and sustained demand on our emergency and medical services, which impacted right across the hospital.

During this time, on numerous occasions, we put out internal and public appeals to our staff to ask if they would work extra shifts and offering overtime, to enable us to meet the pressures we faced and to ensure our patients continued to be well cared for. Our staff responded admirable during these difficult times.

It was also necessary for us to have a flexible temporary workforce resource during this time. We did this by redeploying staff and utilising NHS Professionals (our supplier of bank staff) and where these options were not available to us then, as an absolute last resort, we used agency staff.

– Kevin Baber, Chief Operating Officer for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Eyeball push marks hospital move

The inflatable eyeball will be pushed four miles Credit: Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Staff from Plymouth's Royal Eye Infirmary will this afternoon mark their move to new facilities at Derriford Hospital by pushing a giant inflatable eyeball between the two locations. Around 20 NHS workers are expected to take part in the event, starting at 2pm from Apsley Road.

The team will then travel up Mannamead road, crossing under Manadon roundabout to Tavistock road, up to Crownhill before heading into the hospital site from Derriford Road. They hope to finish around 4.30pm

  1. Jacquie Bird

Plymouth's Royal Eye Infirmary moving sites after 112 years

One of Plymouth's oldest institutions is about to relocate, ending more than a century of history. The city's 112 year-old Royal Eye Infirmary is moving from the city centre to a new purpose-built suite with operating theatres and consulting rooms at Derriford Hospital.

Five million pounds has been spent on the development, which has been planned for decades.

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Plymouth's eye hospital to move

Treatment at Royal Eye Infirmary Credit: Itv News West Country

One of Plymouth's oldest institutions is about to move. The city's 112 year old Royal Eye Infirmary is transferring from its old building in the city centre to a new purpose built suite of operating theatres and consulting rooms at Derriford Hospital.

Five million pounds has been spent on the new development, which has been planned for decades.

The REI was opened back in 1901, with royal approval from King Edward VII. At the time it was thought to be cutting edge, but it's now far from ideal as a modern hospital.

It's built on three floors and at its heart is a winding staircase. All the departments are in different places making them really difficult to get to.

The replacement suite at Derriford will be filled with state of the art equipment for laser eye surgery and some of the intricate procedures carried out by the ophthalmic consultants. it will still be called the Royal Eye Infirmary.

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