Local NHS Trusts Respond to Current NHS Crisis

Hospitals 'working around the clock' to provide safe care for patients

Related links

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Imperial Healthcare's winter ready checklists

Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Hammersmith and Fulham

Updates from the National Emergency Pressures Panel



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The two local NHS Hospital Trusts serving residents of Hammersmith and Fulham have responded to the current crisis affecting the NHS nationwide, as hospitals struggle to cope during winter.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs five hospitals including Charing Cross, Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea, outlined its winter planning back in October.

However, it has now issued a new statement detailing additional measures it is taking to ensure continued safe care for patients - including postpoing some non-urgent operations and procedures.

The Trust says: " Like most hospitals across the country, our hospitals are very busy currently. We’re particularly under pressure at Charing Cross and St Mary’s hospitals where we provide accident and emergency services.

"Our staff are working very hard to make sure we continue to provide safe care for our patients and to treat or admit urgent patients as quickly as possible. Our winter planning means that we have extra capacity and improved processes in place and are working more closely with our community and social care partners.

"However, we are seeing more very poorly patients compared with previous years and we still don’t always have enough free beds to cope with all of the patients who need to be admitted urgently.

" In line with the latest recommendations from NHS England, we have therefore taken two additional, temporary measures:

"While time-critical operations, including cancer operations, and outpatient clinics are going ahead, we are postponing more non-urgent operations and procedures that were due to take place this month. Decisions about which planned operations should be postponed are being made by senior clinicians, with as much notice to patients as possible.

"If you have an appointment for an operation, procedure or outpatient clinic, you should attend as planned unless we contact you to say otherwise. We are very sorry that we have to take this action and we are already working on plans to make sure we are able to carry out the postponed operations as soon as possible once we return to our usual demand levels.

"In exceptional circumstances, we may need to admit a male patient to a female ward or vice versa. The decision to do this would be made as a last resort, on a case-by-case basis, to ensure the safety and dignity of all of our patients. The decision would be made by senior clinicians.

"If you have any concerns about your care or that of a friend or relative, please speak to the ward manager or to our patient advice and liaison service (PALS)."

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has also released a statement about delivering quality care among winter pressures.

The Trust says: "Our dedicated staff are working around the clock to continue to deliver high-quality care to our patients despite the current winter pressures affecting hospitals across the country.

"We are focussing our efforts on ensuring we are discharging patients as efficiently as possible, to make beds available for those who are most sick.

"At present, any patients with planned procedures at our hospitals can assume they’re going ahead as scheduled, unless the patient has been contacted and informed otherwise.

"We remind people that A&E is for genuine emergencies. In the first instance, we recommend calling the free NHS helpline on 111 for urgent medical advice.

"Members of the public can help by making sure they’re vaccinated against the flu and following NHS advice on staying well during winter."

You can download Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust's winter ready checklists here and get more advice on staying warm and well this winter here.

You can also follow updates from the NHS National Emergency Pressures Panel here.

January 4, 2018

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