Southampton General, a large teaching hospital on Tremona Road, has seen an increase in admitted patients of roughly 466 every week, compared to five years ago.
Figures released by NHS Digital data state that, nationwide, hospitals have had to treat 24,000 extra admissions a week compared to the numbers for 2014-15. That equates to over a million additional patients last year, with the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) receiving 159,925 more admissions than previous years.
This data may explain why Southampton A&E missed targets again in November 2019, with only 82% of patients receiving treatment within four hours.
The minutes from a recent Council of Governors meeting addresses the increase in patients which has resulted in a number of complaints about the Trust. The Trust is currently on ‘Black alert’, suggesting ‘serious incident’ and an inability to potentially provide life-saving care.
Despite the increase in patients and delays, Paula Head, chief executive of UHS, says:
We are seeing an opportunity to highlight how immensely proud we are of our staff and their commitment to delivering the highest standards of care to patients every day despite this intensity.
UHS Chairman, Peter Hollins, discusses the NHS long term plan for the Trust in hospital newsletter, Connect. This includes using technology to improve patient care, working more effectively with community care partners, and ensuring they are working at the ‘same pace as medical advances and changes in society’.