Plymouth's Derriford Hospital announces "black alert" as bed spaces dwindle
DERRIFORD Hospital has been on "black alert" – the NHS's codeword for high levels of patient pressure.
The alert system used by the service uses a traffic light colour system of green, amber and red, to rank how busy a hospital is, taking into account bed space and the flow of patients through its system.
According to the NHS a "black alert" warning is the highest emergency warning, recognising that bed occupancy is at peak and staff have to consider sending patients elsewhere or risk lengthy waits.
Derriford Hospital has not issued any media notification, but admitted last night it had issued a black alert on Monday after "very high bed occupancy".
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Tuesday was, according to a hospital spokesman "not as high as yesterday". The spokesman said there was "no single factor", adding it was a "generally busy" period.
According to a report in a national newspaper last December by a senior doctor at the Royal Derby hospital, black alert "means the hospital is completely full. There are no more beds at all anywhere and therefore we are closed to admissions and patients have to go elsewhere."