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Warwickshire’s hospitals are busier than winter months after surge in emergency demand

By Andy Mitchell,

Local Democracy Reporter

HOSPITALS across Warwickshire are struggling to cope with a surge in emergency patients with some experiencing “higher levels of demand than the winter”.

Three NHS bosses this week highlighted the issues in an update to the county’s Health & Wellbeing Board.

Justine Richards, chief strategy officer at University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust, which covers hospitals in Coventry and Rugby, said: “Probably similar to colleagues across the rest of Warwickshire, it is very pressurised in terms of emergency flow right across the hospital.

“We are readying for our EPR (electronic patient record) launch on June 15 so we are trying to ensure we are in the best place possible to go live with that. Moving to that would be a significant transformation for the organisation.

“Getting the organisation in that space where it is at its best in terms of capacity to be able to mobilise in readiness for that, that is our major organisational focus at the moment as well as mobilising our Improving Lives programme, which is all around working with partners around flow in the hospital.

“That is really key for patients and staff in readiness for our EPR.”

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust said it has seen a surge in out-of-area patients
South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust said it has seen a surge in out-of-area patients

Adam Carson is the managing director of South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) which covers hospitals in Warwick, Leamington and Stratford. He also spoke on challenges at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.

“Similarly, we are seeing extremely high levels of emergency demand at both George Eliot and SWFT, higher levels of demand than the winter through the front door,” he said.

“That has created a significant challenge with flow and ongoing management of those patients.

“In the south we have continued to see extremely high levels of out-of-area patients from Birmingham, Worcester and the surrounding areas which has been a bit of a challenge and we are working with West Midlands Ambulance Service on understanding that a bit more.”

Dianne Whitfield, vice-chair Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, added: “Demand is through the roof really, and creating huge challenges.

“There is a real focus on system working to ensure that processes and pathways are as fluid as they possibly can be.

“In the past few weeks, mental health has successfully commenced the community routine outreach service and the national NHS 111 initiative.

“Demand for children’s mental health services remains really high and there has been a real focus on the urgent and emergency care pathway to support children in crisis.”

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