South Yorkshire A+E department urges patients to only attend if 'absolutely necessary'

An accident and emergency department in South Yorkshire is ‘extremely busy’ and patients are being advised only to go there if absolutely necessary.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 2:16 pm

Hospital bosses at the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust said their urgent and emergency care centre was experiencing exceptionally high demand and was struggling to cope.

Other hospitals in South Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service have also said they were experiencing similar pressures, and have advised patients to use emergency services responsibly.

A Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: “These last few days have been incredibly busy in our Urgent and Emergency Care Centre as we continue to deal with serious winter pressures, which in turn put pressures on other hospital services.

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Rotherham General Hospital.

“The priority for our staff is always to ensure safe, high-quality healthcare for all our patients, but we are asking people to help us out.

“Where they can, we would urge people to check out alternatives like phoning ‘111’ - where they can get immediate health advice and can even book appointments for out of hours GPs.

“Advice is also available from pharmacists, where qualified staff can advise on a whole range of medical issues.”

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals also said they were currently ‘very busy’ while Sheffield Teaching Hospitals said they were currently ‘coping well’ with winter pressures.

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service confirmed that A+E departments across the region were experiencing very high demand, and that this was impacting how quickly their staff were able to hand over patients.

A spokesperson said: “Effective handovers from the ambulance service to hospital emergency departments are an integral part of delivering the best clinical care for patients and we work together closely to monitor ambulance turnaround times.

“Many hospital emergency departments across the country are currently experiencing very high demand which, understandably, has resulted in delayed handovers.

“Yorkshire Ambulance Service continues to work closely with hospitals and other NHS partners in Yorkshire and the Humber to try to resolve any issues and minimise the impact on patients.”

Information and advice on alternatives to A+E including visiting a GP, calling the NHS 111 health information line or attending a minor injuries unit can be found at https://111.nhs.uk.