Patients urged to think before visiting Chesterfield hospital

Chesterfield hospital bosses have urged patients to think about which service they need after hundreds of patients were left waiting hours for a bed.

Saturday, 11th January 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 10:41 am

Newly published figures reveal just 68.5 per cent of the 8,410 patients who visited Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s accident and emergency department (ED) in December were seen within the four-hour benchmark – the national average was 79.8 per cent, against a 95 per cent target.

A Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said it had implemented its winter plan and a number of measures to assist patients, after revealing the number of people visiting the ED was up by more than 12 per cent from December 2018.

The figures show that nationally, nearly 100,000 patients waited more than four hours for a bed to be found after a decision to admit them in November, with more than 2,300 patients waiting more than 12 hours.

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Ambulances outside the emergency department at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
Ambulances outside the emergency department at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

At the Royal, 765 patients waited more than four hours and 17 waited more than 12 hours – up from 583 and five respectively in November.

The spokesman, said: “This is traditionally the busiest time of the time of the year and we are seeing unprecedented numbers of acutely ill patients.

“In December, we saw more than 8,400 patients, an increase of almost 1,000 on December 2018.

“We have a dedicated team of clinical and support colleagues who work hard to provide safe, high-quality care to patients.“Our winter plan has been implemented, including opening an additional ward and increasing staffing levels.

The main entrance to Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

“However, clinical priorities will mean patients attending with conditions that are not life-threatening may have to wait longer to allow our colleagues to treat genuine emergencies.“We urge communities to help, by using our services wisely and thinking about where the right place is to receive care for your minor illness or injury.

“There are four minor injury units within half an hours’ drive of the Royal that are open daily from 8am-8pm.

“GPs frequently offer evening appointments and phone consultations and the NHS 111 service provides urgent advice from health professionals.

“Pharmacists can also help with minor illnesses and you can self-treat winter coughs, colds, seasonal flu and stomach upsets at home.“Following these guidelines will get you the most appropriate care much faster - and allow our ED staff to concentrate on treating those with serious and life threatening conditions.”

The entrance to Chesterfield Royal Hospital.