Natalie Hudson, Chief Operating Officer at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has asked residents to ‘think twice’ before heading to Blackpool A&E, with ‘immense’ pressure on its services showing no signs of stopping soon. In an email to staff, which has been seen and reported upon by LancsLive, Natalie Hudson writes, ‘As you may be aware, our Emergency Department has been under immense pressure recently and unfortunately, there is no sign of respite.
‘The pressure is a culmination of many factors, but I would like to ask all colleagues around the Trust to help where you can to ensure the flow of patients around the hospital is as smooth and as safe as it can be.
‘Although our Emergency Department has treated many very poorly people, there are still a number of attendees who could have been treated elsewhere.
‘You may have noticed we now have messages on the digital screen outside of ED that displays the average waiting time, number of ambulances arrivals in the last hour, the number of patients in the department and the longest time to be triaged. We hope that people will think twice about choosing to be seen in A&E when their symptoms are minor and instead contact NHS 111 first.
‘In order to support our ED colleagues, can I please ask that you help by:
‘Sharing any Trust social media messages to help ensure that attendees arrive at ED with emergency conditions only.
‘Escalating any delays as soon as possible to your matron/manager of the day.
‘I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff for their hard work and dedication under particularly difficult circumstances.’
On 1st September the Hospital sent out this message, ‘After a very busy day, our Emergency Department still has more than 100 people seeking care. Please help us to help you by making sure you only visit when it is an emergency. For information on obtaining the most appropriate care, from the right person, use NHS 111.’
Earlier this week the Blackpool Victoria Facebook page advised, ‘Unfortunately we are still seeing large numbers in our A&E department. While we are always available to treat emergencies and life-threatening conditions, non-emergency conditions could be treated at another service such as a pharmacy. A pharmacist can offer a wealth of knowledge and advise when a GP appointment is required.’
During the last complete month’s statistics, August 2021 NHS data shows that 18,578 attended A&E in Blackpool. Of these, 80.7% were seen in under four hours.