Doncaster Pressures (January)

Sent on behalf of Chris Stainforth, NHS Doncaster CCG Chief Officer:

I am following up on my email earlier in the month with another update regarding the pressures on the urgent care system.  We have seen continued pressure on acute services while most community based services appear to be managing the flow of patients more effectively.  This is a pattern that would appear to be replicated across surrounding districts, including Rotherham and Sheffield.

In particular:

  • The A&E department at DRI are seeing high numbers of patients with many elderly patients requiring admission to a bed.
  • Levels of patients admitted to hospital directly by GPs have also been particularly high in the last week.
  • DRI bed occupancy levels therefore remain very high and 22 escalation beds have been opened (these are beds only opened at times of pressure).
  • Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) are currently at Level 4 escalation (the highest level of escalation).

Across the rest of the urgent care system pressures have eased a little;

  • Hawthorne and Hazel wards at Tickhill Road Hospital, although largely at capacity, are seeing patients flowing through the system as expected.
  • As of today there 25 hospital discharges that are being delayed due to capacity issues elsewhere (a slight reduction from the 32 reported before).
  • The Local Authority STEPS service has little capacity but again patient flow has improved.
  • Although we don’t receive GP practice activity data our informal intelligence suggests the pressures have eased slightly in primary care.

From an operational perspective these issues continue to be picked up by the weekly Surge and Operations Group which brings together representatives from across all local organisations each Thursday to discuss ways to resolve the problems and blockages.  However, we thought a continued awareness at individual service level may be helpful when considering how to best manage patients.

We are planning to repeat this type of communication on a regular basis during the winter period so please do let me know if there is any particular intelligence data that you would find helpful.  We would also appreciate any information from front line services that may not be captured by central data collections and would be helpful to disseminate to colleagues across the urgent care system.

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