Emergency unit faced closure amid ‘significant staffing crisis’

HSJ has seen an email that shows managers wanted to temporarily close Whipps Cross University Hospital Trust same day emergency care facility, because of a “dire” A&E position.

Whipps Cross University Hospitals SDEC unit was only opened last month, but the email shows managers wanted to redeploy the staff to the main emergency department.

A message from the hospital’s clinical director of acute medicine on Friday said: “This weekend there is a significant staffing crisis in ED. Unless more folks sign up to work there they are currently facing a shortfall which renders a major risk to patients.”

It asked SDEC staff to “postpone any follow-ups which could wait until next week”.

An SDEC unit is intended to relieve pressure on hospital beds by treating patients who can be discharged the same day, and they can receive referrals from the main ED, NHS 111, GPs or ambulance services.

Full story in The HSJ, 18 January 2024