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How you can help as hospital trust declares 'critical incident' due to increased demand

A 'critical incident' has been declared at hospitals in Staffordshire after reports of high demand for services.

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The University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) NHS Trust has made the declaration after both Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital in Stafford had been found to be under severe and sustained pressure over the last week.

The chief operation officer Simon Evans said the decision had been made after an increase in demand over the last few days and said it would help the trust to find new measures to maintain safe services.

He said: “We are currently experiencing extremely high demand for all our services.

County Hospital in Stafford is one of the hospitals reporting a large increase in demand. Photo: Google Street Map

"Both Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital in Stafford have been under severe and sustained pressure for the last week, but we have seen even greater demands in the last three days.

“We have therefore taken the decision to declare a critical incident.

"This helps us to take additional measures to maintain safe services for our patients and those in the community waiting for an ambulance.

“Locally, we are working with our NHS and local authority partners to ensure that people who need hospital and emergency care can get treatment quickly and to identify any additional support that allows us to discharge patients who do not require acute hospital care.

“As anticipated, the pressure is greatest in our emergency departments, which are facing continued challenges as patients cannot be admitted to beds promptly."

Dr Matthew Lewis, UHNM medical director said: “During this time the emergency departments will continue to see the sickest patients first, which means, for some patients, there may be much longer delays than usual.

“We continue to ask the public to help us by only using A&E in a serious or life threatening emergency.

"When we’re discharging patients, we ask that their friends or loved ones pick them up from hospital as soon as possible and have everything they need at home.

“I would like to thank our staff for their on-going efforts during this extremely challenging period and the public for their understanding and co-operation.”

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