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Trust asks for ambulances to be diverted away from hospital

The trust which runs Russells Hall Hospital has asked for ambulances to be diverted to other hospitals Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust says it has declared a major internal incident in A&E. It says it is the first time in almost four years it has happened.

In a statement the Chief Executive, Paula Clark, said:

'We do not have staffing issues at the hospital. We have been experiencing high levels of emergency admissions since the middle of December 2013 and the capacity issues have come to a head today.

As well as asking patients to only come to A&E if they are facing life threatening conditions, to help us manage the situation, we have asked West Midlands Ambulance Service to divert ambulances away from Russells Hall Hospital.

We have asked the local authority to help us discharge additional patients to nursing homes and care homes, more than they would ordinarily do.

We have cancelled outpatient clinics and postponed planned operating lists to get as many medical staff as possible to wards to manage the safe discharge of patients.

Emergency patients may have to wait many hours to be admitted to hospital. We are managing the situation from minute to minute and will keep patients informed.'

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Dudley hospital declares major incident in A&E

Patients are being asked to go to A&E only if they think they have something life threatening Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Patients are being asked to only visit A&E at Russells Hall Hospital unless they are facing a life threatening condition.

The hospital says that it is experiencing unprecedented pressure on its emergency services. It says unless patients have a genuine emergency they are asked to go to their walk in centre, GP or visit their local pharmacist.

“We are at level four capacity which means we have extreme pressure on our services, and so patients who come to our A&E department will have a very long wait,” said chief executive Paula Clark. “We would urge patients to think twice before using the emergency services at Russells Hall Hospital.”

Spotlight on busy Birmingham A&E departments

It's been a busy bank holiday weekend for our emergency services and ITV News Central has spent the night on an accident and emergency ward at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital to see how they coped.

It comes in the week that 20 senior doctors from the West Midlands signed a letter saying A&E departments were close to breaking point.

Writing to the heads of Trusts, they claim patients are at risk from a combination of "toxic overcrowding" and "institutional exhaustion".

Kate Fisher joined the night shift at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, where patient numbers have increased by 50,000 in the last 10 years.

Health Secretary criticises GP's box-ticking culture

Family doctors are urging the government to 'stop criticising and to start appreciating the work they do for patients in the Midlands.'

It comes on the day the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced a Chief Inspector of GPs is to be appointed.

He also called for better 'out of hours cover' to ease the growing pressure on A & E departments.

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A&E doctors: Patients at risk due to 'toxic overcrowding'

Senior Accident and Emergency doctors said "toxic overcrowding" and “institutional exhaustion" is putting patients lives at risk, according to a leaked letter seen by the Independent.

Lives are being put at risk because of 'toxic overcrowding', according to A&E doctors. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive

The crisis within A&E is now so bad that doctors cannot guarantee safe care for patients, according to the letter from 20 leaders of emergency departments from the West Midlands.

Rising numbers of patients has created a "state of crisis", the doctors said.

They wrote: “What is entirely unacceptable is the delivery of unsafe care, but that is now the prospect we find ourselves facing on too frequent a basis.”

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NHS chief: A&E units moving 'closer to the cliff edge'

The pressures on A&E departments are "growing" leaving the service "closer to the cliff edge", the NHS Confederation chief executive has warned.

Pressures on A&E departments are "growing." Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Mike Farrar said: "Like many hard-working frontline staff in the NHS, we have been ringing the alarm bells about urgent care services struggling to meet the demands of patients.

"The recent headlines do not lie – the pressures are growing and we are getting closer and closer to the cliff edge.

"In the last ten years, emergency admissions through A&E have increased by 51 per cent; that's an extra 1.25 million more patients going in to hospital on an unplanned basis.

"If we continue with this trend, we will see another extra half a million patients cramming into our A&E department in the next three years. This will be simply impossible for our hospital services to cope with, despite the heroic efforts of staff to date."

Concern over future of Kettering's A&E and maternity services

A consultation is currently taking place which could mean these acute facilities are downgraded Credit: ITV Central

MPs concerned about the future of Accident and Emergency and Maternity services at Kettering Hospital are meeting today.

A consultation is currently taking place which could mean these acute facilities are downgraded. A community campaign will also begin.