Busiest day ever for casualty admissions
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.