‘Staff shortages’ mean QE2 Hospital A&E department must close overnight amid safety fears

PUBLISHED: 11:10 20 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:10 20 April 2014

QE2 Hospital

QE2 Hospital

Archant

Staff shortages mean the QE2 Hospital’s accident and emergency department will be closed tonight (Sunday).

The trust that runs the hospital says the decision to close the unit between midnight and 8am was made on ‘clinical safety grounds’.

It follows two nights where the emergency department has closed.

A statement from the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust said: “Due to unexpected staff shortages over the bank holiday weekend affecting the trust’s emergency department services, a decision has been taken on clinical safety grounds to close the QEII’s A&E (adults and children) between 12.00 (midnight) and 8.00am the next morning.”

Since 2011, life and limb-threatening cases have been referred to the Lister Hospital, and the trust estimates between five and 10 people use the QE2’s A&E department each night.

The trust statement continued: “If you think you might need to go to A&E as an emergency – i.e. a life and or limb-threatening situation – always dial 999.

“If it is not an emergency, dial 111 where the NHS111 service team can advise on what needs to be done.”

A nurse will direct patients to the nearest appropriate place for treatment.

NHS bosses say the plans have been agreed with the ambulance service, the GP out-of-hours team and NHS111.

Have you been affected by the emergency unit closure? Let us know about your experiences by emailing news@whtimes.co.uk

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