Alert Level 3: The Canberra Hospital in crisis mode

For three consecutive months the Canberra Hospital was in crisis mode where internal incidents threatened to disrupt the flow of critical services to patients, Shadow Health Minister Vicki Dunne said today.
In an answer to a Question on Notice, Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris confirmed that The Canberra Hospital was at Alert Level 3 throughout July, August and September 2017.
Alert Level 3 – formerly referred to as Code Yellow – is an emergency response code to deal with any “internal incident that threatens to overwhelm or disrupt services”.
Criteria triggering an Alert Level 3 involve two or more of the following incidents:

* Hospital capacity is greater than 100 per cent;

* More than 11 bed booked patients in ED;

* All surge beds open;

* Unable to decant resuscitation room;

* Unable to admit patients from other hospitals;

* Isolation beds unavailable and cohorting unable to be implemented;

* ICU over capacity; or

* Considering cancelling surgery.
“This is an alarming revelation,” Mrs Dunne said.
“Minister Fitzharris keeps assuring Canberrans that our health system is in good form when the naked truth is; our health system is in crisis mode.
“We have missing and manipulated health data, we have long and painful waiting times, we have overflowing emergency departments, and we have high risk critical infrastructure.
“The government’s irresponsible handling of our hospitals is comprising patient safety.
“Minister Fitzharris should confirm exactly how many, and which criteria triggered an Alert Level 3. She should deliver a comprehensive and actionable strategy to prevent this from happening again,” Mrs Dunne concluded.