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Vic Wing policy remains in place

Vic Wing policy remains in place

Saturday 20 May 2023

Vic Wing policy remains in place

Saturday 20 May 2023

Health bosses have disputed claims that a patient was refused treatment because of a lack of available beds at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital, saying that Victoria Wing is used for non-private patients when needed.

Known as 'Vic Wing' the ward is primarily used for patients with health insurance cover or those who have paid for their treatment privately. Other non-private patients are treated on the ward too where necessary, including in some gynaecological cases.

Earlier this week, a post was shared on Facebook claiming that a patient taken to the hospital by ambulance was told there were no beds available for them unless they paid to be treated privately.

A spokesperson for Health and Social Care has disputed that.

"We would never turn a patient away that requires urgent clinical care and admission to the PEH," the spokesperson said.

"We have admitting wards for those patients requiring urgent care across the PEH - this also includes Victoria Wing. If these beds are full, we can utilise additional beds as part of our business continuity plans."

hospital bed

Pictured: Health bosses say they have contingency plans to increase bed numbers at busy times for the hospital.

The hospital's contingency plans were honed during the covid crisis and are central to the plans for expanding the hospital through the current phase one building work and the planned phase two building work. Phase two may be derailed by plans to cut public spending but HSC is keen to see the project progressed.

With a standard capacity of 130 beds, the PEH can increase capacity to 151 beds when needed. That includes things like increasing the bed numbers of Giffard Ward from 16 to 26 beds. However, HSC said that has a wider impact with additional staff then needed to staff the expanded ward with bank or agency staff coming at a premium cost.

HSC said hospital staff can also postpone elective surgeries if bed capacity is reached, but that is only done when necessary and the decision is "not taken lightly".

HSC also said the island's ageing demographic is partly to blame for any capacity issues at the hospital.

Victoria vic wing

Pictured: Victoria Wing is used for non-private patients when the PEH is busy, says HSC.

"We are seeing increasing capacity issues within the PEH all year round now (historically this was linked to winter pressures) and as such we flex the bed state up and down to accommodate these pressures - this includes Victoria Wing. The hospital is generally running at 90-95% capacity compared to our UK colleagues who daily run at 100% capacity.

"The increasing demand on our health services, with an aging demographic, is one of the reasons why the hospital modernisation programme is essential for our community. The plans included in Phase 2 of the modernisation programme will increase bed capacity and improve patient pathways in the hospital – reducing unnecessary admissions (due to a Clinical Decisions Unit and an enhanced Emergency Department and increasing our Critical Care Capacity)."

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