Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in major alert over bed crisis

Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

One of Scotland's biggest hospitals was forced to raise a major alert after 36 patients waited for up to 17 hours in the accident and emergency department.

A Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh memo on Thursday raised safety concerns for patients, urging staff to free up beds.

NHS Lothian said it had an extremely busy day on 20 April but the situation was resolved within hours.

NHS Scotland figures show the hospital has been meeting the 95% target of patients being seen within four hours.

Officials said the situation last week was caused by the pressures after the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Lyn McDonald, site director at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, NHS Lothian, said: "On Thursday 20 April, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Emergency Department had an extremely busy day, particularly in the late afternoon and early evening, after a busy Easter weekend.

"The number of attendances at the department were higher than average, which meant that the site admitted an additional 20 patients more than is normally predicted.

"This resulted in a number of patients in the emergency department waiting to be admitted.

"In response, services across the site were alerted and asked to assist with patient flow. Additionally, other sites and across health and social care responded and assisted appropriately.

"All of these measures allowed the site to return to normal within a few hours."

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