HEALTH CARE

Six Hospitals Release Joint Statement Urging People To Avoid A&E

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Six hospitals across West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, and Harrogate have issued a joint warning asking people to avoid coming to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments unless they are in “genuine, life-threatening situations”. This is due to the high number of patients waiting for up to 12 hours in A&E, causing a lot of pressure for the hospitals and leaving them “with no choice but to prioritise patients presenting with acute illness or injuries”.

The West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT) said that its most recent emergency department figures display a 14.2% increase in attendance compared to this week last year in 2021. Wait time in the A&E department has increased to 12 hours this week, which is extremely high, particular when the NHS target is for 95% of A&E patients to be seen within four hours. 

Dr Andrew Lockey, the emergency medicine consultant with Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, 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. 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.”

The West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, and Harrogate area covers more than 2.5 million people, therefore it has been requested to avoid the A&E department unless it is a “genuine, life-threatening situation”.