‘No A&E crisis here’ say hospital chiefs after Health Secretary’s comments

PUBLISHED: 06:00 23 May 2013

QE2 hospital

QE2 hospital

Archant

QE2 Hospital chiefs have denied claims by the Health Secretary that A&E services could collapse by being put under “huge pressure”.

Jeremy Hunt had claimed that casualty departments were on the verge of disaster due to thousands of extra patients using services. Speaking on BBC Breakfast last week, Mr Hunt said the problem was caused by a change in GP contracts which removed responsibility for out-of-hours care.

But hospital bosses in Welwyn Garden City said they were dealing with the extra numbers. A spokesman told the WHT: “Since the end of 2011, all life/limb-threatening blue light ambulance emergencies – eg major accidents, heart attacks and strokes – have been taken to the Lister [Hospital, in Stevenage].

“This is where the vast majority of the trust’s emergency surgery, along with its specialist heart attack and stroke units, are based.

“This means that on any given day, the QE2 service is less busy than the Lister.”

He said the number of patients had risen in line with the national situation, but said £19million was being spent on improving the department at the Lister.

On staffing levels he said: “The trust is in the process of recruiting additional consultants and nurses – this is about expanding the size of the team working across both the Lister and QE2.

“Generally speaking, the team is not carrying large numbers of vacancies currently.”


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