Don't Go to A&E Unless You Are Extremely Unwell, Patients Told ; . ?Pennine Acute Boss in Alert as Hospitals Struggle to Cope with People with Minor Problems

By Yarwood, Sam | Manchester Evening News, January 28, 2016 | Go to article overview

Don't Go to A&E Unless You Are Extremely Unwell, Patients Told ; . ?Pennine Acute Boss in Alert as Hospitals Struggle to Cope with People with Minor Problems


Yarwood, Sam, Manchester Evening News


PATIENTS in northeast Greater Manchester are being told to stay away from A&E unless their lives depend on it.

Pennine Acute NHS Trust says each of its three emergency departments - the Royal Oldham Hospital, Fairfield General Hospital and North Manchester General Hospital - are under immense pressure as staff struggle to cope with a huge surge in patients.

On Monday, attendance levels at the Royal Oldham reached a record high with almost 370 people walking through the doors of A&E in just 24 hours. Many of those were suffering from less serious conditions and minor complaints such as alcohol intoxication, back pain, migraines and headaches, ear problems, and sore throats - problems which could be dealt with elsewhere. Dr Jimmy Stuart, divisional medical director for medicine at the trust, says that stresses on A&E are linked to bed pressures on the wards.

He said: "Services across the NHS are under a huge amount of pressure.

"Our staff are working incredibly hard and like most acute trusts nationally, are seeing extremely high numbers of patients presenting at our three A&E departments and urgent care centre.

"Many of these patients require hospital admission and need medical care and treatment.

"This is compounded by inpatient bed pressures on our wards, with high numbers of patients occupying beds both due to clinical care and delayed discharges. …

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