Addenbrookes declares “major incident” due to unprecedented demand

An ambulance outside Lincoln County Hospital as health professionals have warned that the NHS is in

An ambulance outside Lincoln County Hospital as health professionals have warned that the NHS is in "crisis" after waiting times in accident and emergency departments in England plummeted to their worst levels in more than a decade. Addenbrookes has declared a "major incident" due to unprecedented demand. Photo: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire - Credit: PA

One of the region's biggest hospitals last night declared a 'major incident'' due to unprecedented demand.

Relatives are being asked to collect patients 'medically fit'' to return home from Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Addenbrookes.

In a statement, CUH CEO Dr Keith McNeil said: 'Since New Year's Eve CUH has been under extreme pressure and for the past two days we have been in critical internal incident mode.

'As of 7pm tonight we have declared a major incident. This is due to unprecedented levels of demand on our services with especially high numbers of frail elderly patients, combined with a record level of patients whose medical care is finished and whose discharge is delayed (DTOCs).

'Our priority is to care safely for the patients already in the hospital and arrange the safe discharge of those who are well enough to go home and to ensure that we can provide care for those who require urgent treatment.

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'Giving the extreme circumstances, we are contacting the relatives of patients who are medically fit to go home, with ongoing care needs such as feeding or personal care and asking them, wherever possible, to take their relative home while adult social care put their care packages in place.

'As part of our plans to manage high demand on our services, we have cancelled all non- emergency surgery and procedures. Right across the country the situation is similar. Ambulance and community services are also under pressure and this has put additional pressure onto acute hospitals.

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'We would therefore ask patients not to attend A&E unless they have an emergency or life threatening condition.

'I would like to thank all staff, whether based in the hospital or in the community, who are working very hard to ensure we can continue to provide care to our patients in these challenging circumstances.'

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