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No Crisis For Local Hospitals On Red Alert

While there is a Red Alert across the NHS, hospitals in Coventry and Warwickshire are operating almost as normal.

Getting staff to work is the main problem affecting hospitals in the area, but there is plenty of fuel to keep the building going for weeks.

The Walsgrave NHS Trust said ‘only a handful’ of staff have been unable to make it to work, and in Warwick staff have got together to pool lifts to get in.

At Walsgrave, some non–emergency appointments have been postponed because of a lack of fuel to get patients to the hospital, but the service is still available if the patients can get there some other way.

More than 100 appointments have been put back so far as ambulances are able to pick up about half the normal number of patients for routine appointments at Walsgrave.

They are being prioritised, giving people in most need a lift to hospital. In Warwick, ambulances are working normally to collect people.

It is a similar case at the Coventry and Warwickshire and Rugby St Cross hospitals, where the cause of concern is getting staff to work. Hospitals are working at full strength when staff arrive.

The Walsgrave site is well stocked with fuel and supplies, and deliveries are largely unaffected so far.

With Travel West Midlands operating a full service, and not expecting fuel supply problems till the middle of next week, there are plenty of buses serving the hospital.

Paul Elkin, deputy chief executive of the Walsgrave NHS Trust, said this morning:

“We have enough fuel for heating and lighting for weeks.

“The ambulance service is running about half of the non-emergency journeys to get people here for appointments.

“About 100 to 150 appointments who would normally come in for appointments are being contacted to see that we are working normally if they can get here some other way.

“We are constantly reviewing the situation. I would say staff are finding it more difficult to get to work, and that is our main concern.”

Peter Tolhurst at Warwick Hospital said:

“We are running a normal service. Operations and outpatients clines are running as normal.

“The main effect has been the staff, but they have been marvellous. We have changed some rotas and most are getting in as normal.

“They have been sharing lifts and in a few cases we have been to collect staff who just would not be able to get in otherwise.

“We are hearing changing stories all the time about what is going to happen next. So far our deliveries have been coming in as normal.”


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CWN / Business / A-Z / Fuel Protests  / 13 Sep 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM