Health bosses respond to inaccurate tweet after surgical beds pictured 'empty'
Health bosses have issued a statement after an image of empty surgical beds was shared on social media.
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust - which runs the Bristol Royal Infirmary and Weston General, among others - has said its surgical high dependency unit (HDU) provision continues but that it is facing significant staffing challenges.
The spokesperson said: “Surgical HDU provision continues. However, like many hospitals across the country we are facing significant staffing challenges.
"In order to ensure we have the staff in place to maintain safe care for our existing and emergency patients, our ability to proceed with planned surgical procedures can be impacted.
"The situation is kept under constant review and we aim to reschedule any patients impacted as soon as possible. The Trust has a number of recruitment drives underway to attract more staff.”
The trust has released the statement after a tweet with an image of three empty hospital beds was retweeted nearly a thousand times, having more than 2,400 likes.
The tweet reads: "This is our surgical HDU. It has now been closed for weeks because we don’t have enough nurses to staff it.
"I feel incredibly sad every time I walk through and think about the patients missing out on vital surgery."
Earlier this month, the health trust's chiefs warned that about 100 medically fit patients were stuck in hospitals because of a “crisis” in home care.
The bed-blockers cannot be discharged by UHBW until community care packages are available, but these services are not yet back at pre-Covid levels.
And all healthcare providers are struggling to recruit staff because “the likes of Amazon” are offering higher pay for less stressful jobs, UHBW chief executive Robert Woolley told a board meeting.
The problem is so severe that the trust has had to find nurses from abroad, with 147 set to start by December, health chiefs heard.
At the same time, there are nearly 90 people in local hospitals who have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the latest data.
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