Busiest ever day for Northampton General Hospital as pressure on A&E rises

Northampton General Hospital saw its busiest day ever in January.
Northampton General Hospital saw its busiest day ever in January.

More than 500 people visited Northampton General Hospital’s A&E department in January on its busiest day in history.

The emergency department saw 507 patients on Monday, January 22.

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The Chronicle can also reveal that the hospital has already declared its highest state of alert 18 times since the start of the year.

Opel (Operational Pressures Escalation Level) four status means that the hospital may not be able to deliver comprehensive patient care and patient safety may be compromised.

In the whole of 2017, Opel four was only declared 32 times but bosses had to declare the status 18 times between January 1 and March 1.

Opel one is the normal status for a hospital, where things are flowing well, rising to Opel two when the system is starting to show signs of pressure.

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The status is raised to Opel three when major pressures become evident and finally Opel Four when there is the potential that patient care could be compromised.

Figures, obtained by the Chron under the Freedom of Information Act, showed that in 2017 the hospital declared Opel two on 42 occasions, Opel three on 114 occasions and Opel four on 32 occasions.

In the first two months of 2018, Opel two was declared nine times, Opel three 26 times and Opel four 18 times.

The data also included figures for the three busiest days of the year in A&E for the past five years.

The three busiest days ever have all happened in the first two months 2018: with 507 patients on January 22, 483 patients on February 5 and 465 patients on February 26.

The busiest days in the past five years are:

2014

1) July 14 - 399

2) July 21 - 392

3) July 7 - 384

2015

1) July 6 - 394

2) June 8 - 389

3) Sept 21 - 382

2016

1) March 21 - 410

2) May 16 - 392

3) February 29 - 389

2017

1) December 4 - 455

2) December 2 - 452

3) December 14 - 450

2018

1) January 22 - 507

2) February 5 - 483

3) February 26 - 465