Hospital Declares ‘Internal Emergency’ After Closure of Nearby Emergency Department

Hospital Declares ‘Internal Emergency’ After Closure of Nearby Emergency DepartmentFollowing closure of a nearby emergency department, an 'internal emergency' has been declared by hospital bosses and ambulance service has been averted from a packed A&E unit.

As reported, 'capacity issues' in the hospital's A&E unit were responsible for sending of ambulances somewhere else. The controversial closure last December of Chase Farm Hospital's A&E six miles away has increased pressure on nearby hospitals.

A spokesman for Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust denied that the A&E downgrade was responsible for causing the diversions. She added, "The Trust experienced high numbers of attendances and ambulance arrivals to A&E on 31 January".

Angry campaigners state that the A&E closure is 'putting lives at risk'. The Government and some doctors said that the NHS does not have enough funds to set up an emergency unit in every hospital.

The knock-on effects caused by the closures have been warned by the critics. They say closures force critically sick patients to travel more distance to get treatment and could have to face more delays once they get there.

Official NHS figures reveal that the number of ambulances waiting for over half-an-hour outside one hospital has increased by seven times.

Last week, NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson said centralized, large units perform better work and also warned that NHS does not have enough funds to keep smaller departments open.

Last month, two-year-old Hashir Naveed died because of the closure of Chase Farm. His mother took him to hospital at 3 a. m. and after reaching there, she found that hospital has been shut down resulting in death of his son.

NHS statistics reveal that since the shutdown of Chase Farm A&E on December 9, ambulances were forced to wait outside Barnet Hospital for over half-an-hour on 236 incidents.