Hospital admissions up by 100 a day

Slipping on the ice Photo: ITV News Central

The Royal Derby Hospital says it's managing to cope with the Big Freeze despite a surge in admissions to A & E.

The casualty department is currently treating 420 patients a day - about 100 more than normal. Many have broken bones from slipping on the ice or suffered other weather-related injuries. The number of emergency cases is 8% up on this time last year. Those involving people over the age of 90 are up 21%.

The busy A&E department Credit: ITV News Central

The cold snap has been a big test for the hospital - not just in terms of the extra workload, but in making sure staff could get in to work. Managers say thorough winter planning has made a big difference. They've liaised with local councils to have 4x4 vehicles on standby to help doctors and nurses with the daily commute. There have also been rooms available for staff stranded overnight. The hospital's team of 400 volunteers has made an invaluable contribution to the smooth running of the service, ferrying patients around the site on special buggies.

David Ainsworth, Acute medicine general manager has been keeping a blog about how the hospital has been coping. He praised the efforts of staff, saying they had gone the extra mile to provide a high level of care for their patients.

It's been business as usual. We put a lot of effort into our winter plan and we learn from year to year.

– David Ainsworth, Acute medicine general manager
Jane Furniss fel over in the snow Credit: ITV News Central

Patient Jane Furniss, from Cromford near Matlock, also paid tribute to the staff in A & E. She was admitted yesterday after slipping on the ice on her back doorstep and damaging her hamstring. "I was lying there for 15 minutes," she said. "I just couldn't get up - it was freezing cold."