Hospital on high alert as pressure mounts on services

North Tees Hospital. D19284
North Tees Hospital. D19284

A hospital was on increased alert this week due to rising pressure which saw some patients transferred to nearby facilities.

The University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, was at its busiest on Wednesday, seeing high levels of patients.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust chiefs said pressure on A&E services led to it being placed on North East Escalation Plan (NEEP) Level 5 – which calculates how busy a hospital is. Level 1 is the lowest and Level 6 the highest.

The trust has confirmed the hospital has now fallen to NEEP Level 4, and said NEEP Level 5 is a rare occurrence, with the services being escalated to the higher level twice in the past year. They said some patients had to be admitted to neighbouring hospitals overnight.

Deputy chief executive and chief operating officer at the trust, Julie Gillon, said: “Due to significant increased pressures across the trust, a decision was made to escalate to NEEP level 5 on Wednesday.

“However, we have since de-escalated back down to NEEP 4. NEEP Level 4 is still a heightened level of pressure and significant work is being undertaken to maintain the safety of patients.  

“While many of the people we are seeing have complex illnesses where they need to be admitted to hospital, we want to make sure people are treated in the right place, so that our staff can concentrate on looking after the seriously ill or injured. Demand continues to be extremely high, but what we’re experiencing is reflected in the national picture.

“We would also like to remind people that accident and emergency is for serious illnesses and injuries.”