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Hospital declares 'major incident' in A&E

Patients are asked to go to their doctor rather than A&E at Russells Hall Hospital unless they are facing a life threatening condition. The hospital says it's experiencing unprecedented pressure today.

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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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