Friday 22 September 2023
Due to increased pressures, patients might experience increased waiting times when attending the Emergency Department.
For many years the annual attendance at the department was around 15,000 patients. This started to increase 5 years ago and has steadily risen such that this year we are on course to see 23,000 patients in 2023. These extra 8,000 patients a year have put a significant strain on the system as a whole.
On a number of occasions this year, the Emergency Department has seen ambulances queuing outside the department unable to decant patients as the department has been full.
Patients attending the department can expect to have an initial assessment with an experienced nurse to determine how urgent their problem is. This normally happens within 15 minutes of attending. Following this patients are seen by order of clinical need, not by time of attendance. This means, increasingly, at busy times, patients with non-life threatening, less serious conditions will have to wait longer to see a doctor.
Patients may also be triaged to the Out of Hours GP service if their problem is deemed more appropriate to be dealt with by them.
Dr Mat Dorrian, Emergency Department Consultant, and Guernsey representative of the BMA said:
'By all measurements our department continues to deliver excellent care and the increased waiting time for less urgent problems would still be the envy of most health systems.
Our team continue to deliver emergency care for all patients of all ages with all problems and appreciate your patience as we manage the significant increase in our workload.
However, to help with the flow within the hospital we would ask that - in normal working hours patients with less urgent conditions contact their GP surgery where access to same day appointments remains possible.'
Plans for Phase 2 of the Hospital Modernisation Programme, which are currently paused awaiting decisions on the States Funding & Investment Plan and Capital Portfolio priorities, would provide a larger Emergency Department with increased capacity to cope with the increasing demands on services. More details can be found here: Our hospital modernisation | States Of Guernsey (ourfuture.gg).