Friday 12 April 2024
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34,000 patients attended Nottinghamshire A&E departments last month

The number of people going to accident and emergency in Nottinghamshire is climbing sharply as the local NHS deals with added winter pressure.

The department at the Queen’s Medical Centre saw 18,808 people turn up in November 2022, compared with 17,917 in October.

And Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust (SFH) which runs King’s Mill Hospital, near Mansfield, saw 15,015 attendances in November, up from 14,751 the previous month.

QMC, run by Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, saw similar overall numbers of attendances to A&E at the start of last winter – October 2021 saw 18,298 people attend the emergency department and November 2021 saw 17,655 attendances.

Kings Mill, however, is seeing higher numbers of attendances this winter period.

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October 2021 saw 14,293 attendances to A&E and November 2021 saw 13,897 attendances.

NHS England statistics released this month for Nottingham also show there was a decrease in the number of patients waiting 12 hours or more from the decision to admit the patient to their admission to hospital.

And 407 people waited more than 12 hours in November – but this was down on October’s figure of 686 people.

It comes after a 95-year-old Veteran waited 26 hours in a Queen’s Medical Centre corridor for a hospital bed.

Stanley Solomons was admitted to A&E on the morning of October 16 and was eventually given a bed on the afternoon of October 17.

The Chief Operating Officer at NUH, which also runs City Hospital, “sincerely apologised” to Mr Solomons and his family at the time.

His daughter, Rachael Ellis, said that her father’s treatment was “excellent” but the staff were “running from case to case” and did not have the resources to cope with the demand.

Speaking of the latest statistics released by the NHS, Ms Ellis, also the Labour city councillor for Bestwood St Albans said: “The situation was absolutely predictable, we could see this coming years ago.

“We are in just as much of an emergency as we were during the pandemic.

“The only thing the government can do now is to divert emergency funding to support the NHS.

“I don’t hold the staff responsible, the staff are doing their level best but the resources and vacancies are such that it’s impossible for them to do more.

“This is something that can’t be allowed to continue.”

Mr Solomons is now back in his care home and is “frail” but has “essentially recovered from the experience” of waiting at the hospital.

She said she “welcomed” the decrease in people waiting over 12 hours, but added: “It’s completely unacceptable that people have to wait that long in A&E.

“In my view, we need to get it back down to under four hours.”

In June 2021, NUH said “emergency activity was at the highest numbers ever seen” as lockdown restrictions eased.

A total of 18,613 people turned up to A&E in June 2021.

An NHS spokesperson speaking for NUH and SFH said:

“Demand for NHS services remains high across the country right now and we are so grateful to our hardworking NHS colleagues for the work they are doing to ensure that patients can continue to access the medical attention they need in as timely way as possible this winter.

“One thing that we can all do to help our local hospitals is to consider the full range of NHS services before they come to the hospital – unless it’s anything other than a genuine emergency.

“By doing simple things like visiting your local pharmacy or going to ‘NHS111 Online’ for the advice you need before attending our Emergency Departments, you can help ensure our hospitals can continue to be there for patients that need them most this winter.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Our health and care services have faced immense pressure so to help ease that we’re providing up to £8 billion to boost performance and recover services to pre-pandemic levels.

“It is encouraging to see ambulance response times have improved in every region of the country this month, a testament to our incredibly hard-working staff, however, we know there is more to do.

“The coming months will be challenging but I am determined to tackle waiting times and improve access for patients – we’re allocating an extra £500 million to speed up hospital discharge, getting ambulances back on the road more quickly, increasing the number of NHS call handlers, and creating the equivalent of at least 7,000 more beds.”

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