27 August 2019

Officials at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) are asking people to consider whether they need the specialist services provided by A&E as the departments face huge demand.

Over the Bank Holiday Weekend, the A&Es at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital saw over 1,400 people – more than 300 more than over the same period last year. This included 515 on Bank Holiday Monday alone – by far our busiest day of the year and the equivalent of 21 people every hour for 24 hours.

Nigel Lee, Chief Operating Officer at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “Over the weekend and into this week, we have seen incredible demand on our Emergency Departments (EDs).

“Our teams have been working incredibly hard to cope with the additional demand, including bringing in an additional nurse to assist with handover and co-ordination from a Hospital Ambulance Liaison Officer (HALO).

“Every day we are seeing acute and complex cases and a high number of patients arriving by ambulance needing urgent and immediate attention. On two days over the Bank Holiday Weekend, we had almost 150 ambulances each day – the equivalent of one ambulance arriving at A&E every 10 minutes for 24 hours.

“We would therefore ask people to think if they need the specialist service that our A&Es provide. For more minor injuries and illnesses, there are a range of other services which may be able to treat your condition more appropriately and more quickly.

“Pharmacists are experts in medicines and will use their clinical expertise, together with their practical knowledge to offer advice on common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains and can also help you decide whether you need to see a doctor. NHS 111 can provide medical help fast when it’s not a 999 emergency.

“Our priority is to ensure that patients arriving at our A&Es receive the right treatment. More complex cases have more complex needs which take longer to meet, but we will not compromise on patient care.

“The challenges we face are well-known and require a long-term strategic solution. In the meantime, we continue to work with our partners both in the NHS and in social care so that those patients who no longer need the specialist care we provide can leave our hospitals in a safe and timely manner.

“I would like to thank our staff who have worked so hard to ensure our patients are treated safely and with kindness despite these very challenging conditions.”