As numbers of Covid-19 cases in the South West continue to rise, Derriford hospital has made additional capacity available, and now has 54 beds set aside for patients with Covid.
As the largest acute hospital in the South West peninsula, and the region’s major trauma centre, the Emergency Department has also been under sustained pressure.
Kevin Baber, University Hospitals Plymouth’s Director of Strategy explained: “In the last 24 hours, 320 patients have attended our Emergency Department, of which 100 were brought in by ambulance. This has meant that some patients have experienced long delays, and we’re very sorry for that.
“Ambulance handovers have been an issue and there have been times when patients have had to wait to be handed over to the care of Emergency Department. We are doing everything we can, and are doing our best to make sure patients are assessed and triaged as quickly as possible.
“When you arrive at the Emergency Department you will be triaged by an experienced member of staff and there may be occasions when, following that triage and initial assessment, you are advised to go elsewhere, such as an urgent treatment centre, GP or community pharmacist.
“It’s important that you are treated in the right place at the right time, and we’d be grateful if you can bear this in mind when you’re interacting with our staff. They are working flat out, 24-7, and if you can show some kindness in your interactions with them that would really help us.
“Finally, if you haven’t yet been vaccinated, please, please, please, go and get your vaccination and take up your Covid-19 booster vaccination as soon as you are offered it.”
There are four things you can do to help:
1. Collect relatives - If your relative is in hospital and ready to go home, please collect them as soon as you can.
2. Think 111 - If you think you, or someone you care for, needs to attend an emergency Department (ED), call 111 or visit www.111.nhs.uk first
3. Be assessed - If you attend ED, you will be assessed and may be redirected to another service if it is more appropriate for your needs.
4. Be kind - Staff are working incredibly hard to care for people so please be polite and patient.
5. Get protected - Get your COVID and flu vaccinations if you are eligible