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A&E Department at Scarborough Hospital in 'Day-to-Day Mayhem'

Scarborough Hospital


Scarborough Hospital was the focus of BBC One's Inside Out programme this evening.

The regional current affairs programme filmed a report on how accident and emergency staff are coping following the a 'major incident' called earlier this month.

The 'major inccident' was called following an influx of patients, lack beds and staffing problems, with one consultant sating that the department faced "mayhem" on a daily basis.

On the day the report was filmed, 114 people came through the doors of the accident and emergency department looking for help.

The College of Emergency Medicine, who are responsible for setting standards of training in Emergency Medicine, recommends the A&E department should have 10 doctors at consultant level - Scarborough has just three.

Patients were filmed waiting on hospital trolleys in corridors with one patient, aged 97, having to wait 15 hours before a bed was found for her.

Asked if this sight was unusual A&E consultant doctor Ed Smith said:

"I'm afraid it's an absolutely daily sight and despite our major incident which did improve the situation for 48 hours it's business as usual and I think you'll probably find this is the experience of most departments around the country at the moment,"

"What we're trying to do is manage a system which is overwhelmed. We're really close to the limit of our ability to continue to manage this mayhem that we live in day-to-day."

Lead nurse Simon Etches said conditions are the worst he has seen saying:

"I've been doing this job about 28 years in various A&E departments and I've never seen pressures like this. I've never seen staff working so hard, I've never seen A&E departments in this sort of situation."

Mr Etches said he was glad not to be at the beginning of his career.

"I don't know how long I'd be able to keep working under this amount of pressure"

Deputy chief executive of the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Mike Proctor said the major incident situation was "the worst I'd seen, I've been involved as a director of operations for 17 years on and off in this patch."

Asked whether he accepted any blame for the situation, Mr Proctor said:

"We have to take some, and it's a question I ask myself. With hindsight one could always do some different things. Should I have gone to Spain to recruit more nurses last summer? Maybe that would have made the situation better."

But, he stressed the problem was not unique to Scarborough.

"There are many other hospitals in the country in exactly the same position as us. That isn't my fault, and I don't think its fair to put blame on any particular party or anything else. I think we need longer term solutions to come into force - there is some light at the end of the tunnel."

To see the report in full visit the BBC's Inside Out page and watch it on iPlayer.
A&E Department at Scarborough Hospital in 'Day-to-Day Mayhem' Reviewed by Editor on 20:05:00 Rating: 5

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