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Hospital staff receive sweeping praise after winter dominated by intense pressure and limited resources

PUBLISHED: 16:29 19 January 2018

Staff at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston have received widespread praise for their efforts during the winter crisis. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Staff at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston have received widespread praise for their efforts during the winter crisis. Picture: Sonya Duncan

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

There has been widespread commendation for the efforts of hospital staff who have been battling one of the highest admission rates in the country during the winter crisis.

Ambulances queued up outside the James Paget University Hospital. Picture: Submitted Ambulances queued up outside the James Paget University Hospital. Picture: Submitted

The council of governors for James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) in Gorleston met this morning to provide the latest performance updates and discuss how well staff have been dealing with phenomenally high demand.

Pressure reached peak levels during the week beginning January 1, with the hospital forced at one stage to take the “unavoidable” step of cancelling all non-urgent operations and day case procedures for the remainder of the week.

JPUH was one of only three hospital trusts in England to hit full capacity on every day between January 1 and January 7.

James Paget Hospital
Generic hospital
Accident and emergency
Ambulance
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2016 James Paget Hospital Generic hospital Accident and emergency Ambulance Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2016

But the trust’s deputy chief executive, Andrew Palmer, expressed his delight at the manner in which the Paget has handled the workload.

“Our team working at the hospital during the winter crisis have been absolutely fantastic,” said Mr Palmer. “These are very difficult and extremely challenging times.

“This is the busiest winter that I’ve ever encountered and it’s been especially tough given our limited resources.

James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk. James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk.

“Everyone is doing the very best they can, and that’s all we can really do.”

The dawn of 2018 was so hectic that JPUH asked via social media whether any available staff could work on their days off to lend a helping hand.

Roger Margand, one of the JPUH board’s non-executive directors, commented on the willingness of staff to go above and beyond the call of duty.

James Paget Hospital
Generic hospital
Accident and emergency
Ambulance
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2016 James Paget Hospital Generic hospital Accident and emergency Ambulance Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2016

“I’ve heard so many stories about the tremendous work that has been done,” said Mr Margand.

“Staff have needed to be told to step back and go home for a rest, which is glowing testament to their continual efforts.”

Mr Palmer also emphasised that the hospital’s constant communication with the East of England Ambulance Service has been key to combatting the recent strains.

He added: “We’ve been working very closely with the ambulance service to be as efficient as possible, but also maintain safety.

“They have been doing everything they can to prevent unnecessary arrivals at the Paget and around 50pc of patients that the ambulance go out to are actually treated at home.”

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