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Six Hospitals Tell Patients To Stay Away From A&E Unless Life Is In Danger

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Six Hospitals Tell Patients To Stay Away From A&E Unless Life Is In Danger

Six hospitals have asked people to avoid emergency departments unless for 'genuine, life-threatening situations', after a surge in numbers left some patients waiting for up to 12 hours.

In a joint warning, hospital trusts across West Yorkshire and Harrogate in North Yorkshire – an area that covers more than 2.5 million people – said current pressures have left them with no choice but to prioritise patients presenting with acute illness or injuries.

West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT) said its most recent emergency department figures show a 14.2 percent increase in attendances, compared with the same week in 2021.

A statement said: "Hospital trusts across West Yorkshire and Harrogate are warning of long waiting times for patients to be seen in their Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments. In some cases, patients may be waiting for up to 12 hours, whilst the treatment of those with life-threatening illness or injury is prioritised.  

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"The West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT), which is the official name of the six hospital trusts working together in West Yorkshire and Harrogate, is urging patients to only attend their local A&E in genuine, life-threatening situations."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

If the issue is not life-threatening, hospitals are urging people to call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk for advice before going to A&E. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will see the caller answer a number of questions about their symptoms before an adviser can find a local service that can help you, connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP, arrange a face-to-face appointment, explain how to get any medicine you need or share self-care advice. Advisers can also provide an arrival time if you need to go to an emergency department.

Dr Andrew Lockey, emergency medicine consultant with Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, said hospitals have been 'extremely busy' over the past two weeks thanks to a spike in numbers visiting the emergency department, which had increased the strain on medical staff.

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Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

He said: “It’s really important that people only come to an accident and emergency department if they really need to.

“Our hospitals are extremely busy, and people are having to wait a long time to be seen.

“Over the past two weeks we’ve faced huge challenges with the sharp uplift in the number of people attending accident and emergency. This places additional pressure on our teams who are responsible for treating patients with serious and life-threatening conditions.

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“If you are unwell and are unsure which healthcare service you need, call NHS 111. A highly trained clinical adviser will direct you to the most appropriate service.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: UK News

Mason Jones
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