We have received reports that on Friday afternoon (4/12/2015), the Accident and Emergency departments of both St George's University Hospital in Tooting and Croydon University Hospital in Croydon, for a while at least, were not able to accept patients at their Accident and Emergency departments.
KOSHH understands that this was a question of capacity at both St George's and Croydon. Patients were apparently instead being diverted to other hospitals in the area, including St Helier, where we're sure they received excellent care from the wonderful staff there.
The moral of this tale is that, of course, there are sometimes going to be circumstances where any given hospital is beyond it's capacity, and is therefore unable to accept any new cases. And thank goodness, for now at least, we still have the luxury of a little spare capacity in the system, at least some of the time - without it, who knows where patients in need of emergency care would have been diverted? Just imagine where we would be if St Helier was no longer there in the case of such a situation? Transfer times would be longer to a more distant hospital, meaning that the already over-burdened and under-funded ambulances taking those patients would be tied up for longer, etc. etc. etc. It just doesn't bare thinking about.
We will of course be writing to the relevant trusts (St George's and Croydon) on Monday to establish the facts behind this story, and we will of course post an update accordingly - but this is not the first time that hospitals in this area have been unable to accept new cases, and neither is it the first time that this author in particular has been very grateful for the continued existence of St Helier Hospital, and the fabulous, committed people who work there.