A&E staff working incredibly hard despite increased pressures
SENIOR doctors at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust which runs three Accident & Emergency Departments at North Manchester and Fairfield General Hospitals, The Royal Oldham Hospital and an Urgent Care Centre at Rochdale Infirmary have praised the hardworking staff who are trying to cope with the increased in pressure and demand on it A&E and urgent care services.
Along with other Acute Trusts nationally the Trust is seeing extremely high numbers of patients presenting at its A&E departments, many of whom are requiring hospital admission and need medical care and treatment.
Dr Anton Sinniah, Deputy Medical Director for The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (pictured), said:
“We run three very busy A&E departments at North Manchester, Oldham and Bury and an Urgent Care Centre at Rochdale Infirmary and through these departments we see the most number of patients in the country, over a third of a million patients.
“Demand and pressure on our services has increased over the past few weeks. In addition to the increased numbers of patients attending A&E, our delayed discharges remain high for a number of reasons. Our inpatient bed pressures on our wards remain severe, with very high numbers of patients occupying beds both due to clinical care and delayed discharges.
“In an effort to help alleviate the pressure on our services and to ensure we can continue to provide safe patient care, we are reviewing the need for extra hospital bed capacity, internal of the Trust and externally, across all sites. This, however, is dependent on having the right amount of nursing staff and doctors to care for patients on the wards. We are also encouraging our staff to work flexibly across our clinical areas and hospital sites.
"Our staff continue to work incredibly hard in our A&E departments and medical assessment units to ensure our patients are seen and treated as quickly as possible but importantly to provide high quality of care.”
Dr Nick Gili, A&E consultant and clinical director at The Royal Oldham Hospital, said:
“At this time of year the number of people attending A&E increases significantly which puts extra pressure on our services. A&E departments are there to treat critical or life-threatening situations and some people with minor complaints and injuries could be treated elsewhere. Many inappropriate calls are made to 999 and it is wrong to assume that by calling an ambulance you will get treated any quicker. Priority depends on the patient’s condition and those assessed as being a lower priority will have to wait longer. The high numbers of people who are currently attending A&E can cause us difficulty in ensuring patients are seen quickly. Ensuring that patients get the right treatment at the right time and in the right place is an absolute priority for us. With A&E departments becoming busier than normal, using this full range of services can save patients time in getting the treatment they need. We are keen for the public to help us to help them."
The Trust's overall year to date A&E performance for its three A&E departments and Urgent Care Centre (since April 2014) is currently at 94.05%. This equates to more than 9 in 10 patients attending our emergency departments being seen, treated, discharged or admitted within 4 hours. But performance has dipped over recent weeks and continues to be challenging with pressures being experienced at all hospital sites.
Patients are urged to consider the full range of NHS services available to them. Advice about self-care and details of local health services are available via the NHS Choices website or by calling the NHS 111 service. By choosing and using the right services, patients can expect to be seen or treated more quickly, whilst keeping emergency services free for those patients who need them most.