Busiest ever month in A&E

By David Spereall
Local Democracy Reporter

HOSPITAL services in Dewsbury, Wakefield and Pontefract had their busiest month ever in April.

The Mid Yorkshire NHS Hospitals Trust, which runs all three sites, said the public needed to “choose wisely” over where they go to seek treatment, adding that Accident and Emergency (A&E) should only be used by people with serious and life-threatening injuries.

Last month also saw an outbreak of the norovirus at Dewsbury Hospital, which has now been dealt with, the trust said.

The factors behind the sudden spike in hospital attendances are unclear, though one senior doctor said he hoped the improving weather would help ease pressure on NHS services.

Speaking on Tuesday, chairman of the Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Phil Earnshaw, said: “Mid Yorkshire had their busiest seven days in Accident and Emergency (A&E).

“At some wards in Dewsbury there’s been an outbreak of the norovirus. 

“It’s been particularly busy across the service. Hopefully with a nice patch of warm weather things will improve.”

In a statement, the trust’s director of operations, Trudie Davies said: “We continue to see a high volume of people attending our emergency departments and urgent treatment centre, and in April we experienced our busiest month ever.

“Our focus continues to be on helping patients to leave hospital as soon as they are medically fit. 

“To support this we have implemented therapy teams seven days a week at the Pontefract Stroke and Medical Rehabilitation Unit and at Dewsbury.

“As always I’d like to use this as an opportunity to remind the public to choose wisely when they become ill.

“Emergency departments are for people with life threatening conditions such as strokes and heart attacks and emergencies such as broken hips, and severe infections.

“Walk-in centres, GP surgeries and pharmacies are the most appropriate place for conditions that are urgent but not emergencies.

“We did experience an outbreak of norovirus, which is now over, and are grateful for the amazing work of our nursing teams in looking after those patients.”

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