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'A perfect storm' - MPs react to hospital overcrowding and call for more support

PUBLISHED: 06:30 21 December 2019

Clive Lewis and Chloe Smith have both said the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital needs more support. Pictures: Archant

Clive Lewis and Chloe Smith have both said the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital needs more support. Pictures: Archant

Archant

Norwich's MPs have called for the county's biggest hospital to be better supported after heavy demand saw its accident and emergency department exceed capacity.

On Tuesday, "extreme pressure" on the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital saw bosses send a memo to senior doctors and staff calling on them to take the "least unsafe decisions" in care of patients.

The message went on to describe the hospital as "over-crowded" and in "the most challenging situation" with it unable to find beds for 35 patients in need of urgent care.

Now, Norwich's two MPs have called for a greater level of support to be given to the hospital - financially and from members of the public themselves.

Chloe Smith, Conservative MP for Norwich South, said: "Clearly this is very concerning. There are a number of worries that we all have about the NNUH and I will be making sure the health secretary is aware and see what can be done to support the trust.

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"I think it is important to note that the hospital does have plans to expand and add more beds which will help and we should all realise the amazing hard work their staff do over the festive period.

"I feel the time has come for us to look at the issues in the round and see what more can be done."

Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norwich South, said the issue had come as a result of "a perfect storm" of under-funding, a lack of support for the NHS from the government and winter pressures mounting on hospitals.

He said: "This feels like it has been a long time coming - the hospital has been under severe pressure for a long time and the A&E department was already in crisis.

"When you factor in things that happen this time of year - like flu and drinking - crises almost feel like par for the course for the winter.

"What I would call for is emergency funding to come in now. The level of funding being proposed by the government is barely enough to keep the NHS at a standstill - let alone make it take steps forward."

A NNUH hospital spokesman said the trust is determined to provide timely, safe, high-quality care to all patients and our are diligently working to ensure this happens.

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