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Norfolk hospital under such 'extreme pressure' dialysis beds being used for other patients

PUBLISHED: 17:20 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:20 11 November 2019

The Jack Pryor renal dialysis unit at the  NNUH. Pic: Bill Smith

The Jack Pryor renal dialysis unit at the NNUH. Pic: Bill Smith

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People needing dialysis have had to wait for treatment because the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has been so full their beds were used by other patients.

The Jack Pryor renal dialysis unit at the NNUH. Photo: Bill SmithThe Jack Pryor renal dialysis unit at the NNUH. Photo: Bill Smith

The Jack Pryor Unit at the NNUH is a renal ward which provides dialysis treatment sessions, which last from three to four-and-a-half hours, at set times of 7.30am, 12.30pm and 6pm.

But, in recent weeks, the Colney hospital has been under extreme pressure for bed space overnight. The hospital has 900 general and acute beds, with an escalation process when it gets to capacity.

And that means it has had to make use of some of the 28 dialysis station beds on the ward for other overnight patients.

The knock-on effect of that is some dialysis patients have had to wait in the mornings while those patients are moved elsewhere and the ward is made ready for their sessions.

A spokesman for the NNUH said up to 12 patients had been put in the Jack Pryor Unit overnight during periods of high pressure over the past couple of weeks.

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The spokesman said: "During periods of very high demand we have been using the Jack Pryor Unit as an escalation area for patients at night time whilst the ward is not being used for dialysis appointments.

"This has led to some dialysis appointments starting a bit later than planned and we are very sorry to any patients affected by this.

"We know this is not an ideal situation for our patients and this is only something that takes place when the hospital is under extreme pressure.

"In early 2020, we plan to move the Jack Pryor Unit to a purpose-built renal centre in Bowthorpe.

"Work is also ongoing to build a new ward block at NNUH, which will be opening in early 2020 to create additional inpatient bed capacity."

A patient transport driver, who tales dialysis patients to the hospital, said they already have enough to contend with without having to wait for treatment.

The driver, who did not want to be named, said: "The early dialysis patients are being made to wait as the beds are still occupied.

"The dialysis patients have enough to contend with attending three times a week for three to four hours plus transport times, they don't need the lack of bed planning when constructing the hospital to further impact their lives."

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