Dutch hospitals preparing for flu season: extra beds, personnel
Hospitals in the Netherlands are starting to prepare for this year's flu season. Should there be an epidemic, extra personnel and extra beds will be deployed to prevent the hospitals overflowing, and other patients having to be sent away, De Gelderlander reports after speaking to a number of hospitals.
Early this year the Radboud UMC, Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital and the Rijstate Hospital, among others, struggled to keep up with the number of flu patients needing help. This resulted in emergency rooms having to refer patients to other hospitals.
The Rijstate Hospital in Arnhem plans to prevent repetition by committing additional staff and beds to the coming flu season. During the flu season, a special team will assess the situation in the hospital as well as how many new patients are expected in the coming days. "If the flow of acute patients is greater than normal, we will use our extra capacity and staff. In extreme cases this could also lead to a temporary halt on admissions or planned surgeries being postponed", a spokesperson said to the newspaper.
The Canisius-Wilhelmina hospital in Nijmegen is examining how and where additional capacity can be created, if necessary. The hospital is also working with nursing homes and home care organizations on measures to ensure that people who no longer need hospital care can move to another place of care immediately.
All the hospitals the newspaper spoke to urge their employees to get a flu shot. The Riviereland Hospital in Tiel and the Gelderse Vallei Hospital in Ede are both providing flu shots to their employees free of charge.