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Media Release - Day surgery and elective inpatient surgery reduced to support Critical Care - 6th January 2022

Media Release

embargo until time/date

Date: 6 January 2021

Day surgery and elective inpatient surgery reduced to support Critical Care

The Critical Care Unit (CCU) at the PEH is under significant staffing pressure due to running two operational units: one for COVID-19 patients and one for non-COVID-19 patients.

At the time of writing, two patients are in the separate COVID CCU for COVID-19 related treatment with the non-COVID unit (7 beds) at full capacity.

In view of the staffing pressures, and to maintain a safe level of care for patients in the CCU and across the inpatient wards at the PEH, the decision has been made to reduce elective surgery this week. Many elective procedures require a CCU bed to be available for immediate post-operative care.

We continue to liaise with key medical and nursing leads across HSC and MSG to further assess our business continuity and resilience. Services are very stretched and whilst many UK NHS Trusts have declared critical incidents, HSC is not in this position but will constantly assess the changing scenario and respond appropriately.

Dermot Mullin, Director of Operations said:

'As Dr Rabey has stated previously postponing elective surgery is not a decision that we take lightly. We know that it is extremely frustrating for patients who have been waiting for a procedure and have made arrangements with employers, family, and friends etc.

However, it is essential that we maintain a safe level of care for all patients in the PEH which means often these tough decisions must be made. The impact of the current wave of Omicron has meant that bank/agency staff are already being used to cover isolation requirements for those staff who have COVID-19 or who are a close contact. This means we have fewer resources available to cover an already stretched healthcare system.

Other parts of HSC operational areas are continuing to operate with lower levels of disruption but are assessing the situation on a daily basis and escalating challenges to service continuity as and when necessary.

As always, we grateful for the support of our Bailiwick community and ask that anyone visiting the hospital or other HSC facilities carries out a lateral flow test determine if they have COVID. Omicron is a very transmissible variant, and it is key that we do all we can to reduce our risk of cross infection especially in the hospital setting.

We have had one incident this week with someone who would not verify their LFT status and on testing was found to be positive. This puts the service at risk of transmitting the virus to patients or staff and ultimately put acute services under added pressure. Visiting will be kept under daily review and if similar incidents increase the difficult decision of stopping visiting may be necessary.'

Deputy Al Brouard, HSC President said:

'I am grateful to both HSC and MSG staff for their continued hard work balancing the impact of COVID-19 with a busy hospital that is also stretched due to seasonal winter pressures.

In the meantime, I would like to reinforce the message that anyone attending any HSC facilities should carry out a lateral flow test before they arrive.'