Shropshire A&Es see ‘significant’ numbers of patients as staff under pressure

Health bosses have said the county’s major hospitals are seeing “significant” numbers of patients – both in A&E and Covid admissions.

Ambulances queuing at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on Monday evening
Ambulances queuing at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on Monday evening

One ambulance crew waited five hours to hand over a patient at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) on Monday.

Nigel Lee, chief operating officer at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) has urged people to think carefully before attending A&E, and to call 111 in the first instance.

His comments came after a video widely shared on social media appeared to show a number of ambulances queueing outside Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH), which is managed by SaTH, on Monday evening.

Hospitals across the country have been coming under greater pressure in recent weeks due to a combination of annual winter pressures – traditionally the toughest time of year for the NHS – and the impact of the pandemic.

Mr Lee said: “Our hospitals are seeing a significant level of urgent care activity, both in terms of the number of patients with Covid-19 that we are treating and the number of emergency patients more generally that we are seeing at our A&Es.”

He added: “If you need urgent care, then make sure you think 111 first. NHS 111 will be able to assess you and, if you should need it, book you a time slot at a range of services in the hospitals and the community including A&E to make sure you can be seen safely.

“In an emergency, please call 999.”

Ambulances queuing at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on Monday evening

The hospital had also put out pleas on social media for people to consider whether they really needed to attend A&E and to use 111.

The difficulties facing RSH and Princess Royal Hospital Telford (PRH), which is also managed by SaTH, were illustrated late last month in government figures, which showed delays in patients being handed over from ambulance staff to hospital workers.

The figures showed 810 patients arrived at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust’s (SaTH) A&E units by ambulance between December 21 and 27 – 130 of those had to wait between 30 and 60 minutes, and 71 had to wait even longer.

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