Plans To Expand A and E Capacity At Norfolk & Norwich Hospital

4 April 2013, 05:27 | Updated: 4 April 2013, 05:40

Managers from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the East of England Ambulance Service have been meeting after serious delays at the weekend left ambulances lined up outside.

The hold ups at Accident and Emergency meant that an emergency response tent had to be put up outside as a precaution although no patients needed to be treated in it.

The hospital is now looking at more ways to ease the relays and increase their capacity to avoid problems when they have to go to 'black alert' because they are so busy.

  • The ambulance service has piloted roving ambulance cars staffed by a senior Emergency Care Practitioner in Norfolk. They attend to patients who might otherwise need to be taken to hospital.
  • The CCGs and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital continue to explore ways of further increasing the capacity of the A&E department by reconfiguring the building and model of staffing to better meet surges in demand.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Chief Executive Anna Dugdale and the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, Chief Executive Andrew Morgan have issued a joint statement.

'The hospital and the Ambulance Service meet regularly to discuss our work and the meeting today was part of those ongoing collaborative discussions.  There is great pressure on emergency care services throughout the region and nationally and we are working jointly on a number of improvements with others in the health and social care organisations locally to improve services for our  patients.'

'We are fully committed with our GP-led commissioning group (CCGs) partners to press ahead with necessary changes that will reduce long waits for patients and improve ambulance turnaround times at hospitals.'

'The CCGs, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the East of England Ambulance Service have planned a leadership meeting on 18 April, to discuss pressures on the emergency care system.'

'We also continue to discuss with Norfolk County Council Social Services and the Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust, more timely support for patients who are ready to leave hospital and need a rehabilitation community bed or social services support package.'