As you may know, like the rest of the NHS and across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, UHNM has been under increasing pressure. This is now causing challenges in providing high quality care and patient flow due to the high numbers of COVID-19 positive patients currently being cared for. All areas are under pressure and extreme levels of pressure in critical care are being experienced.
UHNM have already reached out to neighbouring NHS trusts for support with additional critical care capacity as part of the West Midlands Critical Care Network.
Despite the heroic efforts by all staff UHNM are now in a position in which patient experience will be compromised if action is not taken and difficult decisions are having to be taken to prevent any patient safety issues arising. Therefore, in order to continue to keep staff and patients safe, the decision has been made to move the Critical Care internal incident level to Level 4. This raising to a Level 4 is only in relation to critical care, with the rest of our hospitals remaining at Level 3. This will be reviewed on a daily basis.
Raising Critical Care internal incident level to Level 4 will mean that UHNM will not be accepting any tertiary major trauma patients. As in all areas where high levels of demand are being experienced staff are continuing to redeploy where they are available to support.
UHNM will move back to a Level 3 in critical care when it is safe to do so.