Investigation to take place over hospital ‘major incident’

Scarborough Hospital . pic Richard Ponter 150209c
Scarborough Hospital . pic Richard Ponter 150209c

An investigation is to be launched into why Scarborough Hospital became the subject of a “major incident” as A&E was flooded with “unprecedented” numbers of patients.

The status was declared on Monday afternoon, as numbers of patients continued to rise and staff were faced with a shortage of beds.

The hospital stood down the “major incident” on Tuesday afternoon - with questions now being asked about how this could happen and what should be done to stop it happening again.

However, a member of hospital staff, who contacted The Scarborough News anonymously, said the problems will get worse before the get better.

The health worker also raised the recent closure of the walk-in service at Castle Health Centre, York Place, as a major factor in the increase in patients coming to A&E.

He said: “It has been bad for the last three weeks really. For years these problems have not been addressed.

“There’s been much more pressure on A&E since the walk-in service closed. It’s definitely started to have an effect.

“The centre saw around 20,000 people a year, so it’s of major concern if they’re being funnelled into an already blocked A&E department.”

He added that people are also worried about what will happen in April when a new walk-in service is due to be launched alongside A&E.

An investigation - at both a local and national level - is now set to be launched into what happened.

Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill said he has spoken to health minister Dr Daniel Poulter, who has agreed to an inquiry looking specifically at the situation in Scarborough.

Mr Goodwill, who has also discussed the matter with hospital bosses, added: “It’s of concern that A&E is being in effect overloaded with patients, with the demand ebing so high it led to a major incident.

“It’s very disappointing for people who were expecting to come in for surgery and had operations cancelled.

“It’s important that A&E can function at a level to meet demand.”

A spokesperson from York NHS trust said: “Whilst the situation has improved, the hospital remains busy and we are keeping the situation under review. We would like to thank our staff who continue to work tirelessly in spite of these difficulties, and also to our patients for their understanding.”