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Summer Stafford Hospital A&E demand rises by 40pc

By Tom Oakley | Stafford | Health | Published:

The number of people using A&E departments in Staffordshire has gone up by more than 40 per cent.

Stafford’s County Hospital has seen a rise in patients visiting its A&E department

New figures show at Stafford’s County Hospital and the Royal Stoke University Hospital more than 20,000 used the emergency department between April and July.

This is up from just 14,000 from the same time in 2017 – meaning the number of patients has risen by 41 per cent in total.

What has the trust said?

Despite the significant rise, the University Hospitals of the North Midlands NHS Trust, which runs both the hospitals, insists whilst attendances have been higher, it has not affected performance, which has been ‘very good’ this summer.

Dr John Oxtoby, medical director at the trust, said: “There are a few specific conditions that are associated with the heat, but obviously people are out and about a bit more, so there’s more scope for accidents to happen too.

“We’re seeing quite a lot of people, and indeed earlier this summer we had our record high number of attendances at our Emergency Departments, which is more than we’ve had this winter.

“Our A&E team have done an absolutely brilliant job of caring for people quickly and efficiently.

“Despite the higher seasonal attendances, everyone at County Hospital on Thursday was seen within four hours and 95 per cent of Royal Stoke patients were seen within that time as well.

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“These figures are excellent and show that the plans we’ve put in place have come to fruition really.

“I think we’re certainly prepared to do what we have to do and cope with the different types of demands and the different types of patients that will come to us in the summer.

“What will help, and we always say this, is people who don’t need emergency or life-saving care should use NHS 111, visit their GP or visit their pharmacist for support.”

The numbers of those using A&E refers not only to walk-ins and ambulance attendances but also GP referrals to the trust’s Acute Medical Unit and Surgical Special Care Unit.

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The data, from the trust’s August hospital board papers ahead of their next meeting today, showed that the number of patients waiting more than a year to be treated at both County Hospital and Stoke hospital has also gone up significantly too.

Figures revealed the number of patients who waited over 52 weeks to be referred for treatment at Stafford’s County Hospital and the Royal Stoke University Hospital went up in June to 114 from 78 the month before.

The number of ambulances waiting outside both hospitals for more than an hour also went up by five to 17 in June from the month before.

Tom Oakley

By Tom Oakley
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist

Express & Star reporter responsible for covering Walsall and Staffordshire. Got a story? Email tom.oakley@expressandstar.co.uk or call 01902 319482.

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