Every summer, Berkshire plays host to a large event that attracts over 100,000 attendees for a weekend of merrymaking.
Hosting such a large group of attendees comes with several considerations, one of which is access to medical attention. The local hospital in Berkshire is a district general hospital which has approximately 1000 beds and serves a population of around 500,000 people. It has a well-established emergency department (ED). Attendances to EDs have been increasing annually. This is accompanied by increased pressures, waiting times and need for resources.2
When the population abruptly increases by 20%, measures need to be put in place to manage the demand on healthcare services to ensure that all patients receive safe and effective care both in hospital and pre-hospitally.
An annual review of event-related attendances to the ED has been carried out since 2013 to identify key trends in patient presentations so as to educate, plan and guide the pre-hospital and hospital
response for the following year.
Staff recognised that the ED was busier during the weekend of the event as there was the footfall of
patients that self-presented to the ED as well as those that were referred by the event medical team.
Key aspects that were analysed included: gender, age, mode of arrival, event medical assessment, type of presentation, length of ED stay and involvement of drugs or alcohol.
Since the pandemic, another aspect that was assessed was whether the patient tested positive for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Any patient who came to ED from the event were included in the data.
As the demands on ED continue to increase each year, it became apparent that planning.