People urged not to use Royal Stoke A&E unless genuine emergency

People are being asked not to use A&E at Royal Stoke Hospital unless they have genuine emergencies which threaten life or limb due to "rising pressure" across the county.

Hospitals in the area are facing a three-pronged combination of rising numbers of Covid-related conditions, more people at A&E and staff having to self-isolate and therefore unable to work.

The Royal Stoke's A&E is open 24 hours a day while the A&E at County Hospital in Stafford is only open from 8am to 10pm daily.

John Oxtoby, medical director at University Hospitals of North Staffordshire, said: “We are currently facing rising pressure across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent but especially at A&E at Royal Stoke.

"This has been a very busy weekend and we expect the pressure to remain at least throughout tomorrow. While staff there are working particularly hard it is a challenge to self-isolate because of the limited space, and some people who present will have long waits.

“For conditions which are not emergencies, such as minor injuries, they will get the same treatment at Haywood Hospital Minor Injuries Unit and probably more quickly than at Royal Stoke.”

John Oxtoby added: “We would also remind everyone that it is vitally important to protect themselves and others from the threat of Covid transmission by making themselves aware of and following the latest guidelines.”

Instead other services are available including the walk in centre at Haywood Hospital in Burslem.

Help is also available 24/7 online from NHS.111.uk or by calling NHS111.

Out-of-hours pharmacy services and GP appointments are also available.

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