Derbyshire's health and care system declares ‘critical incident’ as patients warned operations may be delayed

Derbyshire’s health and care system has declared a critical incident due to the growing demand on its services.

Thursday, 21st July 2022, 4:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st July 2022, 4:46 pm

NHS and care services across the county are under pressure, with significant and sustained demand on services and hundreds of patients in local hospitals with Covid-19.

Last week Chesterfield Royal Hospital saw one of the biggest increases in Covid admissions in the country, with numbers rising by 150 per cent to bring the total of new admissions to 101.

Hospitals are also continuing to see an increased number of patients arriving by ambulance, extended waiting times to access beds and difficulties discharging patients due to lack of capacity across the care sector.

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Derbyshire's health and care services have declared a 'critical incident' amid growing pressures. Pictured is Chesterfield Royal Hospital

The mounting pressure is now so great that a critical incident has been declared and patients are being warned that some operations may be postponed to help hospitals care for the more seriously ill.

In a statement, Joined Up Care Derbyshire said: “Due to the significant and sustained demand for a number of services, the Derbyshire health and care system has declared a critical incident and is taking additional steps to prioritise and maintain safe services for patients.

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“We continue to see an increased number of patients arriving at hospital by ambulance, extended waiting times to access beds in our hospitals and difficulties discharging patients due to lack of capacity across our care sector.

“Our aim is to prioritise patients with the highest level of need and ensure that we continue to be able to manage emergency care.

"This means that we will need to postpone some non-urgent operations where patients require a stay in hospital to accommodate those patients with the most urgent clinical need.

“We are very sorry we have had to take this step but it is important that we focus on patients needing urgent and emergency care. If you are not contacted directly, please continue to attend your appointment.”

The NHS is also expecting to see an after effect from the record-high temperatures earlier this week, with exacerbations of respiratory illnesses, so there may be further measures introduced in the coming days.

Health and care services are continuing to work together to resolve the situation, and there are steps you can take to help.

Only call 999 or attend accident and emergency departments for serious accidents and genuine emergencies.

When you need urgent medical care but it’s not an emergency, visit NHS 111 online or call NHS111 for advice on how to get the care you need at any time of day or night.

Urgent treatment centres – like those at Florence Nightingale, Ilkeston, Ripley, Samuel Johnson and Robert Peel Community Hospitals – can help you get the care you need to deal with the most common issues that people attend emergency departments for, like a burn or a sprain.

For other non-urgent cases, when you need medical advice and it’s not an emergency, speak to your GP practice or a pharmacist.

If you cannot make any NHS appointment, contact the number on your appointment letter so that it can be reallocated to another patient.

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