Blackpool’s Victoria Hospital A&E has seen a huge surge in patient numbers turning up in their Department over recent weeks. Normally the busy Department sees about 150 – 180 patients per day – but this daily number has risen to over 250. The A&E Medics are consequently urging people to use their service wisely. Whilst the spike in attendances in recent weeks had included some very poorly people, they had also seen others turning up with a range of conditions that could be treated elsewhere, with the impact that there was a longer wait for those that needed medical intervention most.
Dr Anthony Kearns, Head of Department for Emergency Medicine, said, ‘We usually see a rise in attendances as nights become lighter and more children are out and about. Now the pubs are open again we have also seen a rise in alcohol-related injuries. In the last couple of weeks, we have seen daily attendance numbers peaking at 251. We usually expect to between 150 and 180 patients a day. Of course, many people have acute conditions that need urgent treatment and they take priority, but we have seen many non-urgent cases, which make the department and the waiting room unsafe, due to crowding and social distancing restrictions. This then means we cannot treat those who urgently need our attention as quickly as we would like. Our staff have been under a lot of pressure through the Covid pandemic and are now under further strain to treat the exceptional numbers in the Emergency Department.’
Dr Kearns (pictured below) stated, ‘Many of the people who have attended the Emergency Department recently could have turned to other services or even self-care for minor cuts and scrapes and to pharmacies for reassurance and initial advice. We recently had someone attend the Department twice in one day with the same non-urgent condition. We urge our local community to help and support us by considering the appropriate service for their needs. If in doubt, you can call 111 or visit https://111. nhs.uk/ for further advice on your condition, or 119 for any queries related to Covid-19.’