NHS backlog: TalkRADIO host questions NHS staff salaries
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A surge in numbers has left some patients waiting for up to 12 hours at hospitals in West Yorkshire and Harrogate, North Yorkshire. The trusts said these current pressures have left them with no choice but to prioritise patients presenting with acute illness or injuries.
But the area covers more than 2.5 million people, including families and the vulnerable.
West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT) told Daily Mirror said its most recent emergency department figures show a 14.2% increase in attendance compared with the same week last year.
Dr Andrew Lockey, emergency medicine consultant with Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s really important that people only come to an accident and emergency department if they really need to.
“Our hospitals are extremely busy, and people are having to wait a long time to be seen. “Over the past two weeks we’ve faced huge challenges with the sharp uplift in the number of people attending accident and emergency.”
A doctor works on an NHS ward (file image) (Image: Getty)
Six hospitals are only taking patients with ‘genuine, life-threatening situations’ (Image: PA)
The doctor added: “This places additional pressure on our teams who are responsible for treating patients with serious and life-threatening conditions.
“If you are unwell and are unsure which healthcare service you need, call NHS 111. A highly trained clinical adviser will direct you to the most appropriate service.”
It comes as a health board in Wales asked patients to only attend one of its hospitals in life-threatening cases.
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board has said its services are under “under sustained and unprecedented pressure”.
A spokesperson said the Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran is seeing “a record number of attendances” and that non-life-threatening patients were waiting more than 14 hours to see a doctor.
A statement yesterday read: “The health board is under sustained and unprecedented pressure. Despite actions to try to stabilise our services today we have had to declare a state of ‘business continuity’.
“Our emergency department at the Grange University Hospital is extremely busy, and we have seen a record number of attendances, and waits to see a doctor, in some cases, are greater than 14 hours where the patient’s condition isn’t life threatening.
“We have very few beds available across our hospitals to accommodate patients requiring admission.”