Royal Sussex Hospital services in ‘extremely unsafe situation’
Doctors at a Brighton hospital have written to their chief executive, warning about serious clinical safety concerns and burnout amongst staff.
Consultants said services at The Royal Sussex County Hospital were in “an extremely unsafe situation” and some surgery should be diverted elsewhere.
The letter says intensive care staff and theatre nurses are suffering with post-traumatic stress and depression.
The hospital trust said it was aware of the pressures described in the letter.
The doctors wrote “elective surgery must be proactively diverted” elsewhere.
“Consultant anaesthetists are having to work as recovery nurses as there are no recovery nurses, and that delays the next operation,” BBC South East’s health correspondent, Mark Norman said.
Rob Haigh, medical director at University Hospitals Sussex, which runs the Royal Sussex County Hospital, said: “Our teams have made huge efforts to ensure our resources are focussed on the most clinically urgent patients, including the need to prioritise emergency patients.”
He said the hospital was looking at ways to ease “the unprecedented pressure our staff are facing as a result of the pandemic”.
Mr Haigh said: “To ensure we continue to provide safe care, we have also redeployed staff from a range of areas to support the pressure on critical services, including surgery and intensive care, and regrettably this has meant we have had to postpone a number of planned procedures.”