Published by BBC NEWS - 11th July 2022
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Queen Alexandra Hospital in PortsmouthImage source, Google

A hospital has declared a critical incident due to staff sickness and the strain of the prolonged hot weather.

Queen Alexandra Hospital was experiencing “extreme pressures on services”, Portsmouth Hospitals University (PHU) NHS Trust said.

Staff were having to prioritise critical and emergency services.

It comes three months after a separate critical incident was declared at the hospital because of a high number of patients and staff sickness.

On Monday, Dr John Knighton, PHU medical director, urged people not to attend the hospital’s emergency department unless absolutely necessary.

‘Collect patients’

Non-emergency cases would be redirected to urgent treatment centres at St Mary’s Hospital, Gosport and Petersfield.

“We have limited space and we are only able to treat patients with life-threatening conditions and injuries,” Dr Knighton explained.

He added: “Our immediate priority is to ensure there are beds available for our most seriously ill patients.

“We ask that families and loved ones support us with this and collect patients as soon as they are ready to be discharged.”

The situation will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, the trust said.

The South Central Ambulance Service also declared a critical incident on Monday due to pressures on its services.

We have declared a critical incident today due to current pressures on our services and have issued some advice to…

Posted by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust on Monday, July 11, 2022

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Detailed plans for a £58m expansion of the Queen Alexandra Hospital emergency department, to increase capacity and allow staff to work “more efficiently”, were unveiled in February.

Meanwhile, Southampton City Council says it has activated plans in care homes and hospitals to support vulnerable individuals and is visiting and monitoring people at high heat risk.

And fans attending the Euro 2022 match at the city’s St Mary’s Stadium were able to take extra water into the match between Austria and Northern Ireland.

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