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Hospital says it is coping well with winter strain
12:10pm Tuesday 17th December 2013 in News
BASILDON Hospital is holding up despite the winter beginning to bite, thanks to GPs.
Wards have experienced an increase in patients in recent weeks, because of the cold weather and slips on ice.
This time last year, the trust was struggling to cope, with a lack of beds and staff.
This year, the hospital has posted GPs in accident and emergency to better deal with the winter increase. A new 28-bed ward has also eased the situation.
The situation in A&E is judged using a scale of green, amber, red and black.
Clare Panniker, chief executive, said the hospital was coping well.
She said: “Compared to this time last year, it is hugely better.
“Apart from Monday, when we had to go to amber, we have been green since October. In comparison, last year we were pretty much red all the time from the same month. A combination of things is helping.
“We mustn’t forget, it’s still only mid-December, but we are managing demand better. It’s partly because of our new bed capacity, which opened at the end of last week.
“We will also have another 14 beds, which are still being refurbished, and will be ready at the end of December.
“We have also recruited an additional 200 nursing staff and we are also using GPs in A&E.”
The GPs are not only able to treat the patients, but discharge them, taking the weight off doctors and nurses.
Seven days a week, two GPs are on from 9am to midnight and are also able to get patients appointments with their local GPs to further ease the strain on the hospital.
The scheme is part of a new partnership between the hospital and the clinical commissioning groups, which decides how to use resources, including GPs.
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