NHS System pressures - Major Incident Declared

The health community in Staffordshire has now escalated to major incident level. Hospitals, community providers, NHS commissioners and West Midlands Ambulance Service are working together to manage unprecedented demand for healthcare services today (Monday 5 January 2015). University Hospitals of North Midlands, Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership 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.

Ann Marie Morris, Clinical Director for Emergency Medicine at Royal Stoke University Hospital, said: “Our primary concern is the safety of patients. As part of our plans to manage high demands on NHS services, clinical teams have taken the decision to postpone some operations to ensure they can deal with acute and emergency care such as accidents, medical and surgical emergencies. This is standard procedure to allow emergency patients waiting in A&E to be admitted to a bed.

“Clinicians have not taken this decision lightly, and every effort will be made to reschedule their treatment as soon as we can. We would ask for people to be patient as NHS staff work hard to ensure that NHS services are maintained as much as possible. Our Emergency Centre staff are here to treat serious accidents and emergencies. 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.”

Stuart Poynor, Chief Executive of the Partnership Trust, which provides community services to people living in North Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent, said: “To support colleagues at University Hospital of North Midlands and the ambulance service we have taken the difficult decision to suspend some of our services in the community. This means some patients may be asked to postpone their routine appointments unless it is urgent. This is to ensure all efforts can be made to support patients back into their homes from hospital through services such as intermediate care and Living Independently Staffordshire.”

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.

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