Chesterfield hospital struggling to 'keep patients safe' due to staff sickness

Bosses at Chesterfield hospital are struggling to keep patients safe, as six times as many staff were off sick than last month.

Operations are also being cancelled because the remaining clinical staff are having to be moved around to cover for their colleagues.

Pressures on the care sector mean medically fit patients can't be discharged until a place is available.

Interim Chief Executive, Dr Hal Spencer, said the hospital is now on its highest alert which is making it difficult to deliver safe patient care.

"I think we've had one of the most difficult weeks in recent memory, from the point of view of unprecedented number of people coming into the emergency department, and difficulties with us being able to discharge people out of the hospital."

Other hospitals are also facing similar problems.

In the North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust, hospitals saw 13,182 patients through the doors at A&E in just March. The number of those patients who were admitted is the highest for six years.

The number of ambulances arriving at A&E is also rising in the area, with 2,467 arriving at its departments.

Nick Scriven, a senior Yorkshire consultant said he has never seen the situation this bad in his 21 years as a consultant.

He said: "At the moment, the combination of such an increased workload, covid illnesses among staff, and reduced beds because of covid, is probably the worst pressure I remember.

Credit: PA

It comes after six hospitals across Yorkshire issued a joint warning for people to stay away from emergency departments except for in "genuine, life-threatening situations", after a surge in numbers left some patients waiting for up to 12 hours.

West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts said its most recent emergency department figures show a 14.2% increase in attendance compared with the same week last year.