Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, along with the whole Joined Up Care Derbyshire system of health and social care, are calling for the public’s help to enable them to focus care on the most poorly patients as they face extreme pressures in their Emergency Departments and wards.
It follows a rise in the number of Covid-19 hospital admissions since Monday, July 4.
On Wednesday, the Trust announced that colleagues, patients and visitors would be asked to wear a surgical face mask as a precautionary measure amid the spike.
Dr Hal Spencer, chief executive for the Trust, said: “With significant demand on urgent and emergency care services and rapidly increasing numbers of patients in our hospital beds with Covid-19 we are appealing for the public to support us.
"The number of Covid cases has tripled between Monday and Friday this week, putting the hospital under great pressure.
“Alongside increases in hospital patients with confirmed Covid-19, our emergency department is incredibly busy with many patients facing very long waits. This means ambulances can be delayed in reaching patients with a real emergency in the community.
“At the same time we have very high rates of staff absences related to Covid which adds to the challenge of keeping our patients safe – this is always our top priority.
"Our colleagues are working tirelessly to focus on those patients who really need us most. We are therefore actively asking people to be understanding and kind to our staff – for example, telephones may not be answered as quickly as we would like.
“We need the public to help us by using the right place, at the right time for their care needs – using NHS111, GPs and pharmacies, as well as getting their loved ones home from hospital when they are ready for discharge, avoiding unnecessary delays.
“We very much want to thank everybody for their support and to my hospital teams for their continued dedication.”
People can help by using the most appropriate service for them – and should only call 999 or attend an emergency departments if absolutely necessary.
If you are unsure call NHS 111 or visit www.111.nhs.uk.