Plea to follow rules and help NHS as ambulances queue up outside Telford A&E

The continuing level of demand on the NHS in Shropshire has been highlighted by images showing ambulances queued up outside a county A&E department.

Ambulances waiting outside Princess Royal Hospital in Telford. Photo: Dave Hanley.
Ambulances waiting outside Princess Royal Hospital in Telford. Photo: Dave Hanley.

Pictures shared on social media show around 10 ambulances waiting outside Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford last night.

It comes after a similar situation at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) last week, where one ambulance crew had waited around five hours to complete the handover of a patient.

The situation is a result of the combination of 'winter pressures', the time of year where the NHS traditionally sees the highest level of attendance at A&E departments, and the impact of the Covid crisis.

In a comment accompanying the picture on Facebook, Dave Hanley asked people to think of the situation facing NHS workers – and urged the Government to give staff a pay rise.

He also hit out at those who claim Covid is a hoax, saying: "Spare a thought for all the heroes in the NHS, care workers and key workers. All these heroes work and risk everything to provide you a service.

"None of them are in it selfishly to make money for themselves. Give them all a bloody decent pay rise!! How many of you deniers would put yourselves in their situation to help and serve others!!?? It makes my blood boil to think of covidiots spreading the virus. Follow guidelines. If people don't spread the virus it fails and we will all be able to get back to relative normality."

It comes as PRH and RSH, both run by the Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust, have seen significant increases in the number of Covid cases in recent weeks, putting further strain on an already stretched workforce.

The trust's medical director Arne Rose has called on people to do what they can to bring down the rate of Covid transmission in the county – with the most recent figures showing positive cases increased by 80 per cent over the seven days up to January 7.

It is expected the figures will continue to rise in the coming days, with the real world result being more patients needing hospital treatment, and further strain on the health service.

Important

Dr Rose had said that trust is looking to increase its critical care capacity to treat more patients.

So far 328 people have died with Covid while in the care of the trust, with 13 confirmed in just the past two days.

Dr Rose said: "Now, more than ever, we need your help. When rules were relaxed over the festive period I said it was important for people to think about not what they could do, but what they should do. I repeat that plea today.

"The lockdown restrictions are not a test, to see how much you can get away with. It is not about following the letter of the law, it is about following the spirit of the law. Only by restricting our movements and restricting our contact with others will we be able to give this virus nowhere to go."

The trust's chief operating officer Nigel Lee has reiterated a plea he made last week for people to only use hospital services where necessary.

He also said that all patients waiting in ambulances are assessed by a senior doctor.

“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 said.

“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.”

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