13 Feb 2013

Waikato Hospital 'full'

10:26 am on 13 February 2013

Waikato Hospital has been struggling to cope with a sudden influx of patients, with many having to stay longer in its emergency department due to a lack of general beds.

The hospital's managers have been forced to use extra beds in their acute services building to cope with the influx which has peaked at 103% occupancy.

Spokesperson Kevin Harris says the emergency department has experienced high demand in the past few days and movement from there into the wards has been slow due to a lack of beds.

Mr Harris says occupancy was over the 100% mark during winter and in November last year, but in this instance, there doesn't seem to be one common cause for the sudden increase.

He says the hospital has simply experienced a higher volume of general medical and respiratory patients than it had planned for.