Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, West Midlands, declared a critical incident due to a lack of patient beds (Picture: PA)
A hospital under ‘severe pressure’ in the West Midlands has declared a critical incident after patient beds ran out.
Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley said it is seeing ‘significant demand’ on all services and issued an alert on Monday afternoon.
In response, the trust is taking action to ‘prioritise and maintain safe services’ for patients.
Staff have been told to ensure those who are not receiving medical intervention were discharged.
A high number of patients are also waiting for treatment in the hospital’s emergency department.
‘As a result of these high numbers there are long waits in our emergency department and ultimately longer waits for admission into our wards,’ said Diane Wake, chief executive of the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust.
‘Our staff are working tirelessly to provide the best possible care under these challenging circumstances in a safe and timely manner.
‘Our main focus is providing care for patients who need urgent or emergency care, and those who are receiving inpatient care in our clinical sites.’
Ms Wake has stressed that the hospital is working to resolve the situation and urged people to use 111 or their local GP and pharmacy services where possible.
A spokesman for the hospital added: ‘Our teams continue to work exceptionally hard, and we would like to reassure our patients and the public that despite the challenges faced and the changes highlighted, essential services remain fully open for anyone who needs them so if you require urgent medical help, please continue to come forward.
‘Patients may experience longer waits, but please be assured we will be prioritising care based on clinical need to maintain safe services for our patients.’
It comes after two NHS hospitals in Sussex declared critical incidents the previous day due to a ‘major IT failure’ affecting computers and phones.
The Royal Sussex and Princess Royal Hospitals were affected, while St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester and Worthing Hospital also had issues.
University Hospitals Sussex stood down the alert on Monday morning.
Hospitals in the UK have faced a series of issues this winter already, with staff strikes having a major impact and waiting lists remaining lengthy.
The longest strike in NHS history last week, which saw junior doctors walk out for six days, led to more than 113,000 patient operations, appointments and procedures being postponed.