Update: Grampians Health has stood down the Code Yellow (internal emergency) this afternoon, following its implementation on Sunday after significant demand for services across the weekend.
Chief operating officer hospitals Ben Kelly said Grampians Health Ballarat had returned to business as usual operations, albeit still with the pressures of COVID-19 and respiratory illnesses like the flu.
"Over the weekend Ballarat Base Hospital experienced significant demand, and the Code Yellow enabled us to focus staffing on the most urgent areas of care and service delivery," Mr Kelly said.
"We would like to thank our team members for their significant contributions in the lead up to and in response to the Code.
The Code Yellow was Ballarat-specific, and has not impacted Grampians Health Stawell, Wimmera or Edenhope operations.
Earlier: Growing pressure on Ballarat Base Hospital's emergency department and an increased need to manage COVID patients has forced Grampians Health to trigger a Code Yellow alert.
In a statement issued on Sunday, June 26, the health service stated it would begin implementing Code Yellow measures, meaning it would focus its staff on urgent patients as pressure continues to grow.
This comes after the health service declared the alert level earlier in the year due to similar circumstances at Ballarat Base Hospital.
On Tuesday, June 21, Grampians Health warned of growing emergency department wait times, as patients stayed longer in emergency and staff shortages resulted from the flu season.
A Grampians Health spokesperson said the hospital would still be able to maintain care for its existing patients, however, advised people to talk to their GP before presenting to emergency in non-urgent cases.
"If you are unwell, we advise discussion with your GP as soon as possible in order to avoid the need to attend the hospital emergency department. This will help us care for those who most need emergency support and potentially a hospital bed," the spokesperson said.
"We will continue with current visitor guidelines, but may need to revise those as circumstances change."
More to come.
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