Telford hospital issued 'black alert' as A&E overwhelmed

Telford's Princess Royal Hospital declared a 'black alert' because doctors and nurses continue to be overwhelmedby the demand on services, it has been revealed.

Telford hospital issued 'black alert' as A&E overwhelmed

A source who works at the site said bosses declared a 'Level 4' incident last week, with the situation blamed on too many people coming into A&E.

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital is also believed to have experienced high demand but the hospital declined to release patient figures.

Level 4, also known as black escalation status, means there is severe pressure on services. The NHS uses a national internal alert system based on the colours green, amber, red and black to rank how busy a local health or social care system is.

Black alert status happens when a hospital cannot cope with the number of people coming into A&E because too few people are being discharged. It effectively means the hospital does not have enough bed capacity to cope.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust workforce director Victoria Maher refused to confirm whether a Level 4 alert had been issued but said: "The site continues to see increasing demand for services and the hospital is reporting large levels of escalation."

The trust today continued its call for patients only to attend A&E if necessary.

Meanwhile, it comes as it was revealed today that almost 1,000 people have already pledged their support for the Princess Royal Hospital as part of a new campaign top protect its A&E department.

Telford & Wrekin Council launched #PRH4Me, encouraging people to log on to a new website pledging support or sharing their stories to show how vital the hospital is. Bosses say they hope the campaign will show how much public support there is for the hospital in the months leading up to July, when health chiefs are expected to announce their preferred choice for the location of A&E and other key services in Shropshire.

It is almost certain to result in relocation of services at both Princess Royal and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Councillor Richard Overton, cabinet member for public health at Telford & Wrekin Council, said he was pleased with the initial level of support. He said: "The campaign is not about saving the hospital or any services. This is about building up local support from people both in the borough, and the many places outside for whom the Princess Royal is also their hospital, and for us to show how valued the hospital is."

"We'll be out and about at events and venues across the borough over the next few months."

For further information, or to pledge support and share stories, log on to www.prh4me.co.uk

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