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The NHS treats more than a million patients every 36 hours. The A&E at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham has seen a sharp increase in numbers and today ITV News examines what is happening in these units.

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Your views on A&E departments across the country

As ITV News goes into the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham to examine how the A&E department operates, you have been telling us your experiences of A&E on our Facebook page:

I think I've been treated well when I've used an A&E department. I think the last time I went was when I broke my wrist. The service provided by the NHS has always been good.

– Chris Mawby

Nothing but admiration for the staff. I have had to visit several times recently with my partner and she has been treated with dignity and the highest level of care each time.

– Pete Stevenson

My A&E department saved my life so I'm very grateful.

– Charlotte Purkiss

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More than 30 ambulances in first 12 hours of Tuesday

The ambulance arrival area at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham today. Credit: ITV News

The majors unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital A&E has received 33 ambulances since midnight.

Most common among the ambulance complaints are chest pain and shortness of breath.

The unit is yet to receive a major trauma - a big road traffic accident, for example - on this shift.

Queen Elizabeth 'was closer than the children's A&E'

Fourteen-year-old Grace WIlliams burnt her hand during a science lesson at school. The school called her mother after some first aid and advised that she be brought to A&E.

Grace's mother brought her to the Queen Elizabeth A&E 'because it was closer' than the children's hospital.
Grace's mother brought her to the Queen Elizabeth A&E 'because it was closer' than the children's hospital. Credit: ITV News

Her mother, Mo, said that she brought Grace to A&E to "cover the school" in case there were further problems, although she admitted that there were other options.

"We probably could have just taken her to the pharmacy to get it sorted, but there would be waiting. I know she'll be seen here."

The Queen Elizabeth is not a children's hospital and does not have a paediatric A&E. Mrs Williams said that she brought Grace here rather than Birmingham Children's hospital because it was closer to the school and their home, "it was just easier here."

Although she said she knows any follow up treatment will be done at the children's hospital.

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Lip injury referred to QEHB to see plastic surgeon

Scott Shaw's lip was badly cut on a hedge trimmer. Credit: ITV News

Scott Shaw was cutting a hedge with a motorised trimmer when he slipped and cut his lip on the machine - he says he was lucky his injury wasn't much worse.

He was referred from an A&E unit to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham because of the specialist plastic surgeon who can repair his lip here.

He has seen a triage nurse but is expecting a long wait for the surgeon to become available.

'I was expecting a much longer wait'

After a visit to the GP earlier today Oliver Johnson was told to come in to the A&E to confirm her diagnosis of ligament strain.

Oliver was running when he tripped and hurt his shoulder last night. He arrived at A&E this morning was and seen, treated and discharged by the staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in less than two hours, including time for an x-ray.

Oliver was expecting a longer stay.
Oliver was expecting a longer stay. Credit: ITV News

The 20-year-old said he was expecting a much longer stay, although he has been told he may have to return if his shoulder does not heal.

Nearby hospital refers inpatient with heart palpations

Alisha has been in the eating disorder unit, which is part of a different health trust from the Queen Elizabeth, for about three weeks. Today is the second time she has been sent to A&E with heart palpitations.

Alisha says that last time she came to A&E sha had to wait a long time to be seen.
Alisha says that last time she came to A&E sha had to wait a long time to be seen. Credit: ITV News

The 18-year-old said that last time it took a long time for her to be seen and her problems had stopped before and so there was no further action.

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