The health community in Staffordshire continues at major incident level.
Hospitals, community providers and NHS commissioners are working together to manage unprecedented demand for healthcare services. University Hospitals of North Midlands, Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups and the ambulance service have put in place measures to ensure that people who need hospital and emergency care can get treatment quickly.
Helen Inwood, Deputy Chief Nurse, said: "The health community in Staffordshire continues to work closely together as we care for an increase in patients suffering from winter ailments. The Trust has seen a rise in elderly and vulnerable patients suffering with influenza and norovirus who need to be admitted to a hospital bed. To create capacity we are working with our partners to increase discharges, cancelling non-urgent elective surgery and creating additional capacity within the hospital.
"Our primary concern is the safety of patients. We urge the public to use other facilities if possible and be aware that if they attend A&E they may be diverted to other services elsewhere. I would like to thank those who have heeded this advice and used alternative services."
Stuart Poynor, Chief Executive at Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust, said: "We are continuing to work with NHS colleagues in the health economy by redeploying staff from some of our non-urgent services in the community into services which support patients back into their homes after being in hospital.
"We continue to ensure all our patients receive the safest and highest standard of care and urge people to use our walk in centre at the Haywood Hospital in Burslem and the Minor Injuries Unit at Leek Moorlands Hospital for minor injuries and illness."
People living in Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent are also reminded that many minor injuries and illnesses could be either self-managed or treated elsewhere and are being encouraged to consider the alternatives which may be more appropriate for their needs...
- SELF CARE: This is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses, ailments and injuries. A range of common illnesses and complaints can be treated with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.
- PHARMACY: Your pharmacy can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, without having to wait for a GP appointment.
- NHS 111: This service has been introduced to make it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services in England. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free.
- YOUR GP: For medical advice or for illnesses you can't shake off. You should be able to get an appointment with your surgery within 24 hours, Monday to Friday. If your doctors are closed call your doctor's surgery and you will be transferred to the GP out of Hours Service
- WALK-IN CENTRES: Walk-in centres can be used to treat minor injuries and ailments. The nearest walk-in centres are:
- Haywood Walk-In Centre - Open 7am-10pm Monday to Friday & 9am-10pm weekends and bank holidays. Call: 01782 673500. The service has x-ray facilities open during these times.
- Leek Moorlands Hospital – Open between 8am and 8pm daily. Call: 0300 123 1894
- ACCIDENT & EMERGENCY: A&E and the 999 ambulance service should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation. The Emergency Centre at the City General is located off Hilton Road and the A34, just south of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Attend A&E for anything classed as an emergency including choking, chest pain, loss of consciousness, severe blood loss, broken bones, difficulty breathing, deep wounds or a suspected stroke.
For further information or assistance please contact Andrew Ashcroft, Senior Communications Manager, on 01782 676644 or Liz Limbert, Interim Head of Communications on 07515 709346.