Hospital under pressure

17 Jan 2024 11:35
Published by: Scott Callan

Challenges: Royal Bolton Hospital’s A&E department (Photo credit: Bolton NHS Foundation Trust)

HEALTH chiefs urged people to play their part in easing the New Year pressure on Royal Bolton Hospital’s emergency department.
Their call came as it was revealed that waiting times in the department had reached up to 13 hours in the first week of 2024. Times have since fallen.
And in the first five days of January more than 1,500 people attended the department, which is there to help in life or limb-threatening emergencies.
In a statement, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said: “Record industrial action, seasonal illnesses such as viruses and sickness bugs, and people coming forward for help following Christmas and New Year, is all having a significant impact.”
It added: “Although many attendances are urgent, some conditions that doctors and nurses have seen this week could have been treated elsewhere.”
In its statement, released before the first weekend of 2024, the trust said that patients who do not require urgent treatment could be redirected to alternative health services in Bolton.
Dr Francis Andrews, the trust’s medical director, said: “When our services become extremely busy, we have to prioritise looking after those patients who need our help the most.
“January often brings challenges for us and over the past few days we have seen more people arriving in our emergency department than we have patients being discharged from hospital back to the place they call home.
“This means as we head into the weekend, we may have to redirect people with more minor illnesses and conditions to other health services available in Bolton.
“We understand how worrying it can be when you’re not feeling well, but it’s really important, especially at times like this, that you think carefully about where the best place is for your care and treatment.
“Our emergency department is open 24/7 for life threatening emergencies, and it’s really important that people continue to come forward for that care. NHS 111 online, GP surgeries and local pharmacies are there to help if your condition isn’t urgent, and you may even be seen sooner by making appropriate use of these services.
“Thank you for your understanding and support as we help those most in need.”

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