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Compressed in Västernorrland: a month in boost mode

Compressed in Västernorrland: a month in boost mode

On June 22, the Västernorrland region entered its second highest state of readiness, boost mode. After that, only the disaster situation remains.

The cause was primarily the dangerous situation at Sundsvall Hospital, which was severely overcrowded and difficult to secure staff.

Regional Director Åsa Bellander described the surgery as being within her capacity and said the hospital really needed 180 care places in Sundsvall during the summer. But on June 22, there were only 141 nursing homes.

– It is a difficult situation we are facing this summer and we must combine our planning and our combined strength in decision-making in the best way. The boost mode means we can control and ensure staff and other resources more quickly and in a better way, she said in a press release.

Now, a little over a month later, the area is still in boost mode. During July, the situation also worsened, and there was a lot of pressure on all hospitals in the area (Sundsvall, Örnsköldsvik and Sollefteå).

A lot of people I’ve talked to describe it as the worst summer they’ve had. The staffing situation is fragile, and the influx of patients at the same time was greater than expected. We have daily meetings about the placement of the care site and are trying to resolve it in the best possible way,” Acting Medical and Health Care Director Kjell Norman says.

Sundsvall Hospital has the most overcrowding. The dismal peak in July was 58 overstocks. The past few weeks have been particularly difficult. Employees work overtime and overtime shifts to make it work. The primary care emergency room in Sundsvall was also open longer in the evening.

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“We see it having an impact and making it easier for the emergency department,” says Kjell Norman.

So far, however, the Västernorrland region has not requested employees from holidays.

– They worked so hard and really need to stop. But of course it will be very tiring for those who work.

As elsewhere in Sweden, nurses and nurses are mostly missing out. Medically speaking, things look better.

– The top doctors took their on-call duty in the emergency room, so we avoided taking relays. It made it so much easier that they were able to provide support during call hours,” says Kjell Norman.

So far, there have been no distractions this summer associated with a lack of care places, he says.

– But he will definitely come. Obviously, the risk of making mistakes increases when you have such a stressful situation as we have now.

However, this week the care facility situation has improved somewhat, according to Kegel Norman.

– When I called yesterday, Tuesday, in the morning, Sollefteå had two vacancies. Örnsköldsvik had four overcrowded places, which were still quiet compared to what they were. Sundsvall Hospital had 34 overcrowding. It’s a lot, but it was worse.

How worried are you about the rest of the summer considering that the Public Health Authority has warned that the spread of COVID-19 is likely to increase?

– We are already seeing that Covid is increasing here. There are patients who come to the emergency room and the wards who have another problem and it turns out that they are infected as well and this is causing problems because you have to isolate them. In addition, the already fragile employment situation will of course get worse if there is a lot of illness among the employees.

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The district’s board of directors suffered defections during the year, both in terms of the Political Council and the highest civil service administration. In April, Västernorrland’s director of health and medical care, Kurt Peterson, resigned.

Kjell Norman began as acting director of health and medical care on July 1. He recently came from the position of Senior Advisor to the Regional Director in the Gavleburg region.

care and care inspectorate ifo, Demand more care places – At least 219 care places available – at Sundsvall Hospital by 30 September at the latest. Otherwise, the Västernorrland region is subject to a fine of SEK 15 million. The background to the decision is the serious problems at the hospital, which has been experiencing overcrowding of up to 200 percent in some departments.

During his investigation, Evo collected both lex Maria notices and aberrations and observed a total of 310 deviations associated with overcrowding.

– We note that the situation has led to the occurrence of serious and at risk of health care injuries. This also has been going on for several years without the area taking actions that have led to lasting improvements, Marie Oberg, head of the northern department at Ifo, said earlier this spring.

The Västernorrland region said it shares the picture of the problem with Evo.