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A&E pressure causes 'critical incident' in Nottingham

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A hospital trust has declared a "critical incident" because of the "exceptional" pressure on A&E.

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUH) runs the Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) and City Hospital and has been on OPEL 4 – previously known as black alert – since Monday morning. On Wednesday it raised the level further.

Some routine operations have been cancelled as the trust prioritises those who need emergency care. Health bosses do not want to operate on patients who cannot be guaranteed a bed in which to recover.

Lisa Kelly, NUH Chief Operating Officer, said: "This is following a number of days seeing exceptional pressure across the system, with high numbers of very poorly patients arriving at our emergency department."

The trust has been on OPEL 4 at least once this year but this is the first time in 2019 the pressure in the emergency department has been escalated to a critical incident.

Ms Kelly added: "This is not unique to Nottingham, and hospitals across the country are also experiencing similar pressures."

In the East Midlands, University Hospitals of Leicester and Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were both on OPEL 4 – which means patient safety could be compromised – earlier this week. They have since been scaled down to OPEL 3.

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Source: BBC News, 6 November 2019

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