Hospital declares 'black alert' as hundreds of patients flood A&E - reports

22 June 2021, 21:55 | Updated: 22 June 2021, 22:30

Barnsley Hospital has reportedly issued a 'black alert' due to a spike in A&E admissions
Barnsley Hospital has reportedly issued a 'black alert' due to a spike in A&E admissions. Picture: Google Street View
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A hospital in South Yorkshire has issued a rare 'black alert' as hundreds of patients flood its A&E department, according to reports.

Barnsley Hospital is said to be at a breaking point with staff struggling to find beds for patients.

More than 300 people have been turning up at its emergency department each day, according to internal emails claimed to have been seen by The Independent.

A black alert is the highest ‘operational pressures escalation level’ and is declared when a hospital is “struggling or unable to deliver comprehensive care” and the safety of patients is at risk.

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The newspaper said an email was sent to staff warning them of the hospital's already "pretty challenging" bed position.

More than 40 patients were reportedly in the A&E department earlier on Tuesday, of which 15 were waiting for a bed.

By the evening, this had risen to 80 people, of which 20 were awaiting beds.

The demand is not believed to be Covid-related, the report in the paper added. Instead, the spike is linked to A&E sickness.

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On Tuesday morning, Barnsley Hospital's acute medical unit was also reportedly at capacity.

Staff were later told the trust was experiencing “severe pressures due to the flow of emergency patients into and through the hospital”, the newspaper report said.

The alert comes as trusts across the country are being swamped with record numbers of patients.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people are having their surgeries and treatments delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic inundating the NHS.

LBC has approached the hospital for comment.