Major incident status declared at city hospital
CORNWALL'S main hospital has launched its major incident plan after an outbreak of norovirus closed two wards and operations were postponed.
The Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro said a combination of a high level of emergency admissions, the norovirus outbreak and delays in discharging patients had led to the major incident plan being implemented.
Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) said yesterday two wards and three bays were currently closed due to norovirus and about 20 routine operations had been postponed on weekdays.
However, the trust said the majority of day cases were going ahead as normal and surgery at St Michael's and West Cornwall hospitals was unaffected. Chief operating officer at RCHT, Jo Gibbs, said: "Due to the combination of high levels of emergency admissions, cases of norovirus and delays in discharging some patients, RCHT is using its major incident plan to work with health and social care colleagues to manage the current demand on hospital and community services.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"One of the top priorities is to minimise the risk of the spread of nororvirus in our hospitals. We are asking visitors not to come to hospital unless their visit is essential and we are sorry that it has been necessary to postpone a number of non-urgent operations. However, we hope patients will understand the need to focus on acutely ill patients in need of emergency admission.
"Our clinical teams are working flexibly to care for patients needing admission and we have opened additional beds in our hospitals. Urgent cancer surgery is going ahead and all other cases are being reviewed on a day-by-day basis. Patients whose operations are postponed are being contacted individually.
"Major incident status allows us to heighten our response. We maintain regular contact with our health and social care colleagues throughout the day agreeing a combined response to minimise the impact of the current pressures."
Graham Webster, vice-chairman of Health Initiative Cornwall, said the incident showed how little slack there was in the system.
He said: "The fact is that we have only got enough beds to cope with the normal demands of the service on a good day.
"When you have winter bed pressures or even summer bed pressures, the system cannot cope and it snaps.
"No one is blaming RCHT, but the reality is that the system is broken."
Visitors are asked to ring the ward they intend to visit for advice before setting out.