Warning from King's Mill boss after hospital comes off black alert risk

Bosses at King's Mill Hospital have urged the public to "make the most" of local NHS services and ensure they have the most recent flu vaccination amid growing winter pressures.

It comes as King's Mill Hospital treads dangerously close to being on 'black alert', now known as OPEL 4, which means hospitals are taking in more patients than they can handle.

King's Mill Hospital is already feeling the winter pressures.

King's Mill Hospital is already feeling the winter pressures.

The trust that runs the Sutton hospital, Sherwood Forest Hospitals, was upgraded to the OPEL 4 rating on Sunday and Monday (November 3-4) due to a high number of admissions to its A&E department.

The trust has since been downgraded from the former 'black alert' risk, but bosses are urging the public to use pharmacies, GP surgeries and the NHS 111 non-emergency hotline.

Simon Barton, trust chief operating officer, said: “As with all parts of the NHS we are and expect to be very busy this winter.

"As we move into winter, Sherwood Forest Hospitals is putting plans in place to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to cope with the extra pressures anticipated for the winter months, in order to treat patients as safely and effectively as possible.

"The trust’s winter plan includes increasing the capacity of the hospital to care for more patients, working closely with other organisations to try and manage the number of patients arriving at, and being discharged from hospital, and ensuring staff are physically and mentally well in order to keep caring for patients.

"We were last on OPEL 4 on November 3-4 when we saw high attendances and admissions to our hospitals via our emergency department.

"We expect and plan for an increase in demand at winter, and we know that many of the patients that do come through our doors are sicker than at other times of the year.

"It’s our aim to make sure that patients get the right treatment, in a timely manner, and are cared for in a way that we would want for any members of our own family.

"Members of the public can help by making sure that they and their families are vaccinated against flu – especially if they fall into any of the ‘at risk’ groups including the elderly, then very young or people with certain long-term conditions.

"The public are also urged to make the most appropriate decision for their care, including making use of local pharmacies, NHS 111 and extended access to GPs."

This follow's Nottingham's City Hospital and Queen's Medical Centre both entering a period of alert higher than black alert, due to a restricted number of beds and a high amount of patients entering its care.