Shropshire A&Es under strain from 999 patients
The strain on the county's A&Es has been laid bare in shocking figures that show an extra 20 ambulances a day arrived at the departments last month, compared to October last year.
In total the A&Es at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford – both managed by Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust – saw more than 1,000 extra patients in October, compared to a year previous.
It comes as the NHS is braced for the impact of winter, with increased numbers of patients visiting hospitals and GPs across the county.
In total the two hospitals had 3,985 ambulances attend during October – 621 more than the previous year.
There were also 12,399 people who attended the A&E departments, 1,135 more than in October 2018.
The latest NHS England figures also show that 44 patients were left waiting on trolleys for more than 12 hours at Shropshire's A&E departments last month.
It comes as the hospital trust has found itself at the centre of a political row over plans to major changes, which clinicians say are essential to make the service safe and sustainable.
Nigel Lee, Chief Operating Officer at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said that October's increase in demand has continued as November has progressed.
He said: “Our Emergency Departments (EDs) continue to see big increases in demand and the recent cold snap has added to that.
“Throughout the whole of October, we saw 12,399 ED attendances – 1,135 more than in October 2018 – with 3,985 ambulance arrivals – 621 more than this time last year. That is the equivalent of 37 more people and 20 more ambulances every day.
“That rise in emergency demand has continued into November, and this week we have seen large numbers of attendances and high numbers of patients needing admission for treatment.
"Many other hospitals in the region are experiencing the same pressures.
“We are aiming to review, treat and discharge as many patients as possible on the same day for surgical and medical conditions and, working with our system partners, ensure that patients are transferred home or other suitable care environment with support with the minimum of delay.”