Emergency department reminds public to access NHS alternatives

Press release – 1 April 2016

Trust warns of long waits in Hereford County Hospital Emergency Department due to pressures

The Emergency Department at Hereford County Hospital remains under severe pressure due to the number of patients it is currently seeing and all health and care leaders are asking for your help to prevent hospital admissions.

Jon Barnes, chief operating officer at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “We have continued to experience significant demand on our Emergency Department service and patients being admitted to our hospitals during the last few weeks.

“We have had to postpone around 35 operations this week and more than 1000 patients have attended the Emergency Department since Good Friday.

“Our Emergency Department staff are having to prioritise patients to ensure those who need urgent care are treated quickly, which means those with minor ailments are having to wait longer.

“To avoid long waits, we are reminding people to consider the NHS alternatives available before turning up at the Emergency Department if your condition, minor illness or injury, is not serious or an emergency.

“We wish to apologise to patients for any delays they may experience.  We have put in place additional measures to assist the Trust in managing this high demand, as part of our standard procedures, which includes providing extra staff in the Emergency Department and other areas of the hospital during this period”.

Simon Hairsnape from Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “We have seen an increase in the number of people accessing local health services during the Easter period, including the Emergency Department at Hereford County Hospital.  Residents can help to ease the pressure on our hospital services by choosing the right NHS services for their health need and looking out for vulnerable relatives and neighbours such as those with long term conditions.

“If you need advice regarding a minor illness or injury, visit your local pharmacy, Herefordshire’s Walk-In centre, GP Surgery, extended hours GP services or minor injury units, during opening hours.  For non-emergency medical guidance call NHS 111, which is available 24 hours a day”.

NHS alternatives:

  • Telephoning NHS 111
  • Visiting the Herefordshire Walk-In Centre, by ASDA, Belmont Road, Hereford, which is open 8am- 8pm
  • Attending the Ledbury Community Health and Care Centre Minor Injury Unit which is open 24- hours-a-day, or Leominster Community Hospital and Ross Community Hospital Minor Injury Units which are open from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday only
  • Visiting Kington Health and Social Care Centre Minor Injury Unit which is open from 8am to 8pm
  • Using the Taurus extended hours GP services at Wargrave House Surgery, St Owen Street, Hereford; The Marches Surgery, Westfield Walk, Leominster; and Pendeen Surgery, Kent Avenue, Ross on Wye, which are available from 8am to 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays.  Visit taurushealthcare.co.uk (7 day access)
  • Seek advice from your local pharmacy.  For more information on local health services, visit nhs.uk

 Ends

Notes to Editors WVT:

  • Wye Valley NHS Trust is the provider health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.
  • By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
  • With an estimated annual turnover of around £180 million, we employ around 2,700 plus staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.

For further information please contact:  John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928 or Fiona Gurney, Communications Officer 01432 355444 ext. 5105.

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