November 1, 2022 12.16 pm This story is over 17 months old

“Patients sleeping on floor”: Trust looks for answers for ‘overwhelmed’ A&E

Resident’s question calls for trust reassurance

Hospital bosses have said they are taking action to stop emergency departments being “overwhelmed” as questions are raised around patients sleeping in chairs and on the floor.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust board members on Tuesday admitted they were oversubscribed for beds and that patients who were medically fit for discharge were blocking issues in emergency departments from being solved.

It followed a question from local resident Vi King who asked: “Why are patients not only having to sleep in chairs but on the floor? I’m sure board members would not like their relatives treated in this way.”

Michelle Harris, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at ULHT, said there were solutions being put in place but that some things did take time.

“No-one would wish relatives or loved ones to be in the situation as described,” she said.

“We are taking a number of actions in terms of rapidly trying to improve our experience for patients given the extreme sensitivity of what you’ve described.

“Some of these things do take a little bit of time to gain traction. We do and are trying to reduce overcrowding in Eds (emergency departments).”

She said Lincoln County was built for 45 patients but was regularly seeing more than 100 patients coming to emergency departments for treatment.

The trust is also oversubscribed on beds with 1,003 open at the moment way above the core of 881.

Meanwhile, there were 142 patients on Tuesday morning who were “medically optimised” and ready to be moved to non-acute settings but who were still in the hospital.

“The size and scale of the unprecedented demand we are facing causes that continued cycle of EDs being overwhelmed,” she said

The NHS is now facing the start of winter pressures.

Andrew Morgan ULHT Chief Executive, told members: “Our trust and other parts of the system in Lincolnshire and nationally remain really busy under significant operational pressure.

“There’s a lot of work around trying to put in place appropriate plans in the winter and about assuring ourselves that we have the right capacity in place to cope with demand.”

Issues are appearing nationwide with cracks in services also appearing in places such as ambulance handover.

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