Wednesday, 18 January 2017

London intensive care units for children told to stop treating all but the most urgent cases due to a lack of beds

There are about 90 beds for paediatric intensive care in London

Intensive care units for children in London have been told to stop treating all but the most urgent cases because of a lack of beds.
An email from NHS regional director Will Huxter asked specialist units to delay any planned operations to free up space for any possible emergencies.
It revealed three children had to be taken out of the capital for treatment because there were no beds available.
Medical Director Dr Mark Spencer said it was "not unusual" to cancel surgery.
Seven hospitals across London provide paediatric intensive care with about 90 beds available for treatment.
The note to the units from Mr Huxter, regional director of specialised commissioning (London), said: "The demand for emergency beds over the last week has been increasing."
While he admitted this "is not unusual at this time of year" he wrote that "there have been periods where there have been no beds available".
"I am therefore asking you to review the requirement to proceed with non-urgent elective operating lists... and to confirm all steps to reduce planned for intensive care", the email said.
BBC London correspondent Karl Mercer said the NHS in London would not be interviewed and one paediatrician was told he could not speak about the measures.
In a statement, Dr Spencer from NHS England (London), said it was "not unusual for hospitals to reduce planned surgery" at busy times.
"This is to ensure that the sickest patients can receive the care they need when they need it most", he said.
Over half of the demand for intensive care beds is unplanned. The winter months normally sees admissions rise because there is an increase in respiratory infections, especially those under 12 months old.
A national review of paediatric intensive care is currently under way.

London hospitals which provide paediatric intensive care
  • St Mary's, Paddington
  • The Royal Brompton
  • Guy's and St Thomas'
  • King's College Hospital
  • St George's Hospital
  • Great Ormond Street
  • The Royal London
  • 2 December 2016
  • From the section London

BBC News

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