British Columbia

Surrey Memorial hospital reporting unprecedented patient backups

Surrey Memorial hospital is experiencing unprecedented congestion, according to an internal bulletin to staff obtained by CBC News.

Bulletin to hospital staff says highest volume ever of Emergency room patients with no available beds

Surrey Memorial Hospital is reporting unprecedented patient congestion. (CBC)

Surrey Memorial hospital is experiencing unprecedented congestion, according to an internal bulletin to staff obtained by CBC News.

The memo reports, "the highest volume ever of patients in Emergency needing admission without assigned beds," as well as multiple infection outbreaks across the hospital including Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), influenza, CPE bacteria and respiratory conditions.

Surrey Memorial Hospital says in a bulletin to staff it is experiencing "the highest volumes ever" of patients in Emergency need admission. (CBC)

The hospital says it is facing challenges getting patients discharged and has set up a site Operations Command Centre to investigate new strategies to deal with the overcrowding. 

"Every patient on every unit is being reviewed daily for potential discharge," says the bulletin.

It asks staff to share their ideas for better "patient flow" and support management strategies for dealing with the congestion.

The Fraser Health Authority says Surrey Memorial Hospital used to see about 300 patients a day, but now sees 300 to 400 patients daily.

B.C. nurses respond

B.C. Nurses Union president Gayle Duteil says the Fraser Health Authority failed to  plan for a situation it should have anticipated.

"They have not hired enough nurses to care for the patients that are coming through their doors in droves," she said. "

"This is winter surge for sure, but it happens every winter. We are working short. Nurses are working without proper staffing and there are shortages of nurses across the hospital today." 


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