latest health care news

12.12.18

Two NHS trusts spent a third of the year on highest ‘Opel 4’ pressure alert

Two NHS trusts spent more than a third of the year under extreme pressure and on the highest level of alert.

An investigation by the BBC found that 14 trusts in England spent 20 days or more on ‘Opel 4’ alert, with two trusts from Cornwall and Leicester racking up over 120 days each over a year.

Operations Pressure Escalation Levels (Opel) is a method used by the NHS to measure the stress, demand and pressure a hospital is under, with Opel 4 representing the high escalation level.

Opel 4 is declared when a hospital is “unable to deliver comprehensive care” and patient safety is at risk.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust has declared it spent 134 days on Opel 4 between September 2017-2018, the highest in England, responding to Freedom of Information requests sent by the BBC to all hospital trusts, with nearly 70% responding.

The trust has been in special measures for more than a year with the CQC finding problems with its surgery, maternity, end of life, and outpatient services, and particularly its children’s services.

The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, with the “busiest single-site emergency department in the country,” also spent more than a third of the year on the highest escalation level.

Great Western Hospitals spent 101 days on Opel 4 and the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust was found to be the fourth most under-pressure in England, spending 98 days on Opel 4 alert.

More than 40 trusts said that they did not declare a single day of Opel 4 between September 2017 and September 2018, but “rocketing demand” has seen NHS performance figures consistently drop in the run-up to winter.

Last month it was reported that 29 trusts and NHS boards had missed every single target this year, with one in five hospitals “consistently” failing to meet waiting times.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

A Critical Moment for the NHS

07/03/2019A Critical Moment for the NHS

As part of our guest blog series, chief executive of NHS Employers, Da... more >
Do you know if you’re an alcoholic?

06/03/2019Do you know if you’re an alcoholic?

With around 1,500 alcohol-related hospital stays for both adults and under ... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Focusing on hand injury prevention would ensure vital benefits for the public and the NHS

18/03/2019Focusing on hand injury prevention would ensure vital benefits for the public and the NHS

Ian McNab, consultant orthopaedic hand surgeon and council member of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, outlines how a focus on prevention to hand injury could wider... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar

back

March 2019

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
25 26 27 28 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >