STAFF at Orange hospital have been run off their feet over the last two days trying to find beds, with some patients having to sleep in the accident and emergency department overnight until a bed can be found for them.
A hospital spokeswoman told the Central Western Daily the hospital had responded to the surge in patient numbers by opening up beds that had previously been closed.
“As per protocol, additional beds were opened up over the weekend to manage the influx of medical patients,” director of nursing and midwifery Sue Patterson said.
Orange is the largest rural hospital in the southern hemisphere and as a major referral hospital in the region has a high number of acute care patients admitted to the hospital.
One Orange woman, who didn’t want to be named, said staff in the accident and emergency department on Sunday and Sunday night appeared frustrated at not being able to find enough beds for patients in the department who were being admitted.
“They did a great job and were so attentive,” she said.
An Orange paramedic told the Central Western Daily yesterday even though the situation from Sunday night had eased briefly yesterday morning, by yesterday afternoon beds were still scarce.
“It just seemed to get worse through the day,” the paramedic said.
An Orange clinician at the hospital confirmed with the CWD beds were at a premium at the hospital yesterday.
“Mondays always seem to be particularly bad,” the doctor said.
According to the doctor staff constantly have to juggle beds.
However, late yesterday afternoon Ms Patterson said the hospital was now “operating to normal capacity”.