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Please avoid A&E unless it's essential

Published: 21/02/2012

Warrington Hospital staff are asking patients to only use Accident and Emergency for urgent cases after a surge of serious illness in the town has seen the hospital have one of its busiest ever emergency days.

The hospital cared for around 25% more emergency patients than on a typical Monday this week (Monday 20th February). This included a large rise in the number of patients referred direct to A&E from GP surgeries who needed beds. The number of patients with complex needs has led to longer than usual waits for non-urgent patients in A&E. Local people are being asked to only use A&E for real emergencies and serious injuries and illness.

The hospital has seen a particular rise in patients with respiratory illness, chest pain and symptoms of stroke. Staff have put steps in place to make sure that the patients get the care that they require as soon as possible.

A spokesman for Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Monday saw large numbers of patients presenting at A&E – almost a quarter more than we would typically see. The most common problem has been respiratory illness that has caused complications – particularly for elderly patients – but we've also seen a lot of chest pain and symptoms of stroke.

“Our staff have been superb in making sure these large numbers of very poorly patients are seen and given beds as soon as is possible. However, that does mean that patients with minor ailments in A&E will not be seen quickly and we’re asking people to consider if they really need to visit A&E. We have also cancelled some routine outpatient clinics this afternoon so our staff can concentrate on the priority patients. By taking these steps we hope we can get back to usual working as soon as possible.”



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