Busiest day ever for ca­su­alty ad­mis­sions

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By MATTHEW REVILLE matthew.reville@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

HOS­PI­TAL staff faced a spike in emer­gency ad­mis­sions over the Christ­mas pe­riod – break­ing the record for most pa­tients seen in one day.

A Peter­bor­ough City Hos­pi­tal (PCH) spokes­woman said around 10 per cent of peo­ple who went to the hos­pi­tal’s stretched emer­gency depart­ment over the Christ­mas pe­riod could have been treated else­where.

A to­tal of 703 peo­ple were ad­mit­ted on De­cem­ber 25, 26 and 27 – 70 of whom could have gone to walkin cen­tres or been helped by other NHS ser­vices.

The hos­pi­tal usu­ally has around 180 emer­gency ad­mis­sions a day, but on De­cem­ber 27 there were 288 – one more than on the pre­vi­ous busiest day, De­cem­ber 19.

Only 67 of those pa­tients were deemed to be med­i­cal emer­gen­cies.

On Christ­mas Day there were 197 ad­mis­sions to the emer­gency depart­ment, just un­der ten per cent more than usual, with only 39 be­ing se­ri­ous med­i­cal emer­gen­cies, and on Box­ing Day staff dealt with 218 ad­mis­sions, with 58 of these be­ing emer­gen­cies.

Peo­ple at­tend­ing the ac­ci­dent and emer­gency depart­ment in­cluded those with ab­dom­i­nal pains, coughs and colds, and den­tal prob­lems, all of which could have been dealt with by a phar­ma­cist, NHS Di­rect, the out-of-hours doc­tor or den­tal ser­vice or NHS Walk-in Cen­tre.

While the over­all num­ber of non­med­i­cal emer­gen­cies was sim­i­lar to last year, the cases were less se­ri­ous be­cause weather con­di­tions were less se­vere.

Clive Walsh, in­terim chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer at Peter­bor­ough and Stam­ford Hos­pi­tals NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, said: “The emer­gency depart­ment is for emer­gen­cies and ma­jor care only.

“The trust would like to re­it­er­ate it is ex­tremely im­por­tant that peo­ple fol­low the national Choose Well cam­paign.

“This aims to make it clearer to the peo­ple of Peter­bor­ough ex­actly what ex­pert help and ad­vice is avail­able to them.

“This ranges from talk­ing to NHS Di­rect or your lo­cal phar­ma­cist, to at­tend­ing the Walk-in Cen­tre.”

Sarah Shut­tle­wood, di­rec­tor of acute ser­vices at NHS Peter­bor­ough, said: “The hol­i­day sea­son is one of the busiest times for emer­gency de­part­ments.

“It is im­por­tant that peo­ple re­mem­ber that A&E is for life-threat­en­ing con­di­tions and emer­gen­cies such as loss of con­scious­ness, se­vere chest pain, breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents and se­vere bleed­ing.

“There are a num­ber of dif­fer­ent NHS ser­vices avail­able through the hol­i­day pe­riod for peo­ple to use.”

spike: The Emer­gency Depart­ment at Peter­bor­ough City Hos­pi­tal saw a rise in ad­mis­sions on Christ­mas Day and Box­ing Day.

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