Winter pressures - latest from Oxford University Hospitals

Date: 04 January 2018


Paul Brennan, Director of Clinical Services at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “In common with health systems up and down the country, we are experiencing seasonal high volumes of attendances at our Emergency Departments, in conjunction with difficulties in discharging patients who are medically fit to leave hospital. Seasonal flu is also a contributory factor, and we have seen around 100 confirmed inpatient cases since November. We are therefore currently at Operational Pressure Escalation Level 4 (OPEL 4).

“In line with national guidance from NHS England, we have made the decision to postpone a number of adult inpatient planned but non-urgent operations at three of our hospitals (John Radcliffe, Churchill and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre) in order to help alleviate this pressure. We anticipate that approximately 115 procedures a week will be postponed. Patients who are affected will be informed directly, with a view to rescheduling their operations as soon as possible. Where clinically safe and appropriate to do so, some procedures can be carried out as day cases and so will go ahead. Outpatient appointments, day case operations, diagnostic tests, cancer and emergency treatment will continue as normal. 

“An additional six temporary medical beds at the Horton General Hospital have been opened in recent weeks and a further 39 temporary beds will be opened at the John Radcliffe Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre this week.

“While these actions are necessary to support our Emergency Departments and Emergency Assessment Units at the John Radcliffe and Horton General hospitals, it must be recognised that these are short term measures. The health and social care system remains focused on developing and growing home based services as over 150 patients in our acute and community hospitals could be more appropriately cared for at home.

“As always, people should only attend a hospital Emergency Department in an emergency. If in doubt use the ‘Health and Care Oxfordshire’ app from Oxfordshire CCG to locate your nearest health provider.”

The Health and Care Oxfordshire app can be downloaded from the App Store on Apple devices and the Google Play Store on Android devices.

  • Summary:

    Statement from Oxford University Hospitals

  • Transformation:
  • Date:
    04 January 2018