Horton hospital trust pressure level drops but extra beds stay

Ambulances outside the busy Horton A&E department
Ambulances outside the busy Horton A&E department

The NHS trust which runs the Horton General Hospital dropped down from the highest pressure level today (Friday, January 5) with A&E struggling to cope.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is now at operational pressures escalation level three after going to level four on Tuesday, known as ‘black alert’.

The downgrade is put down to the ‘incredibly hard work’ of staff and measures the trust has implemented this week – opening extra beds at the Horton, John Radcliffe Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and postponing non-urgent surgeries.

Extra beds taken from the Banbury hospital’s dialysis ward will stay at the emergency department until the end of the month, meaning dialysis patients will have to keep going to Oxford for treatment.

Trust director of clinical services Paul Brennan said: “As of 3pm on Thursday, January 4, we have been able to step down our operational pressures escalation level from four to three.

“This is due to the measures we have been implementing over the last few days.

“I would like to thank our staff who have been working incredibly hard to provide good care under difficult circumstances over the last few days.

“We will maintain the opening of additional beds until the end of the month and will not be able to offer non urgent operations in order to ensure that we can continue to admit emergency patients in a timely fashion.

“Along with colleagues in social and community care we need to ensure that the patients in our hospitals who are medically fit to leave are able to get the care packages in place to go home or move to the next stage of their care.

“As always, people should only attend a hospital emergency department in an emergency.

“If in doubt use the ‘Health and Care Oxfordshire’ app from Oxfordshire CCG to locate your nearest health provider.”

*The trust issued a correction at 3.20pm saying the downgrade from level four to three was of 3pm today, not just ‘today’ as previously stated.

Beds taken from Horton dialysis ward to help A&E cope with ‘black alert’