Some operations cancelled at 'extremely busy' hospital

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There have been repeated calls for additional funding for NHS services.

In England, NHS trusts are increasingly treating private patients. This is likely to affect around 50,000 procedures in England.

Trusts have also been told they can abandon efforts to house male and female patients in separate wards, in an effort to protect basic safety, as services become overwhelmed.By Tuesday night 12 NHS trusts - including two ambulance services covering nearly nine million people - had declared they had reached the maximum state of emergency.

That there are more patients who are older, sicker and more complex is completely predictable.

"We fully understand the upset and inconvenience this causes to patients and their families and apologise to them for it". "We had the sudden realisation that we were going to be waiting for some time and there were a lot of poorly people doing the same". We didn't have the physical space.

This is the highest level of alert, which usually means bed capacity has been reached and that patients arriving at A&E will have to be taken to another hospital.

An OPEL 4 situation is where organisations are defined as being "unable to deliver comprehensive care" and where there is "increased potential for patient care and safety to be compromised".

It also followed new figures released today which revealed that delays in ambulances delivering patients to A&E departments in England had reached their highest level of the winter, as those waiting more than an hour almost doubled in a week.

Treliske is urging patients not to turn up at A&E unless it is an absolute emergency. It happens from December to February most years and these crises now appear to be as fixed as Christmas, new year and the first appearance of salt-spreading lorries.

BMA representative body chair Anthea Mowat said: 'What is happening in our A&Es is symptomatic of pressures across the entire system.

'There are more beds available across the system, we've reduced the number of delayed discharges of elderly people who would otherwise have been in NHS beds rather than in social care.

The safe limit set by the NHS is under that, but many departments across the United Kingdom were feeling that much pressure.

Each winter the pressure on the NHS worsens and politicians are not taking the long-term view needed to ensure the NHS can keep up with rising demand.

As well as the three hospital sites run by the board - in Hairmyres, Wishaw and Monklands - GP practices in the area will be returning to normal activity this week, prompting officials to offer help from NHS Lanarkshire staff to any general practitioners who need extra support.

"The hospital cannot redirect patients to any other hospital as none will accept them".

Dr Rob Haigh, medical director at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Our hospitals have been extremely busy over Christmas and New Year and our staff are working really hard to care for all our patients".

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