‘OPEL 4’ declared at UHMBT due to increasing pressures

Due to increased pressures at University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, the Trust has taken the decision to escalate to OPEL 4 – the highest level of internal escalation. This allows us to be able to take additional steps to maintain safe services for our patients and help us cope with the growing demands.

Declaring OPEL 4 enables us to bring all our partners in Lancashire and South Cumbria together to focus on one thing – the safe and timely care of all of our patients.

As always, patient safety must take priority and we need to take action to make sure that those who are more clinically urgent get the help they need as quickly as possible.

There are some immediate actions being taken by Trust teams and our partners, including:

  • Utilising all alternative options to ED (Emergency Department), including Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC), Surgical Emergency Ambulatory Care (SEAC), the Gynaecology Assessment Unit (GAU), and the Priority Admission Discharge Unit (PADU)
  • Community colleagues focusing on admission avoidance activities
  • Pharmacy colleagues supporting discharge lounges to enable faster transfer of patients from ward beds to create the capacity to decompress the ED
  • Cancellation of non-essential meetings/activities in order to redirect clinician time to patient facing activities
  • Seeking support from local place-based partners and Integrated Care Board (ICB) systems. 

What can you do to help?

If you are not contacted directly, please continue to turn up for your appointment. Please also contact the number on your appointment letter if you are no longer able to make your appointment so it can be reallocated to another patient.

Our teams continue to work exceptionally hard; and we would like to reassure our patients and the public that in spite of the challenges faced, essential services remain fully open for anyone who needs them so if you require urgent medical help, please continue to come forward.

The public can help us manage these periods of demand by ensuring they are seeking help from the most appropriate health services, and only attending A&E for serious accidents and emergencies. If you are unwell, visit NHS 111 online for 24/7 advice about the most appropriate care for your needs.


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