New ward will help reduce waiting lists at Blackpool Vic

Winter pressures and staff sickness hit efforts to reduce waiting lists at Blackpool Victoria Hospital (BVH) after Christmas, while A&E continues to see up to 200 patients a day coming through its doors.
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But measures including a new ward and a new emergency village will help to ease the squeeze on beds.

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Blackpool Teaching Hospitals (BTH) NHS Trust has 22 patients who have been waiting more than two years for routine surgery and who will be treated by the end of June in line with national NHS directives.

Blackpool Victoria HospitalBlackpool Victoria Hospital
Blackpool Victoria Hospital
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The number of patients who have been waiting more than a year for routine surgery has reduced from a peak of 1,500 last April to 780 in January.

BVH is among hospitals nationwide battling to reduce the backlog of treatments postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

Natalie Hudson, chief operating officer, told a meeting of the board of directors January had seen the lowest level of restoration activity but the hospital “did not stand down any cancer or clinically urgent cases.”

Staff sickness levels increased to nearly nine per cent in January, compared to just over seven per cent in December, putting pressure on services.

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Despite this, Ms Hudson said: “While we have got significant operational pressure, we are seeing a significant reduction in our longest waiters and those waiting more than 52 weeks.”

Trust chief executive Trish Armstrong-Child said the hospital recognised “the impact long waits are having on people”.

The meeting heard schemes including to install a 24-bedded modular ward on the Woodlands car park on the BVH site would help reduce the backlog, particularly in orthopaedic surgery where patients had often had their operations postponed.

It is due to be ready to receive patients by the end of March, and will also support the emergency village which is on target to open in August.

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Dr Jim Gardner, medical director at BTH, said the emergency village would boast improved facilities such as better airflow and a CT scanner.

He said: “It will be much better for staff and patients will have better pathways to treatment.”

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