Patients are being asked to think carefully before visiting the Accident and Emergency Department at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley unless they have a serious or life-threatening condition.

The hospital say they have seen unprecedented pressure on emergency services and are asking patients to use the NHS 111 telephone service, local pharmacists, walk in centres and their GPs rather than visiting to hospital.

Patients who do go to hospital with minor conditions may have a very long wait as the most needy of patients will be seen and treated first.Acting chief executive Dr Paul Harrison said:

“We have seen extreme pressures on our services with large numbers of hospital admissions and would urge patients to think twice before using the A&E department at Russells Hall Hospital. We know patients recover better out of hospital and are working hard with partners including Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group, Dudley Social Services and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Trust to discharge patients who are medically fit as quickly as possible. This helps us free up resources to deal with the large number of new patients attending the hospital.”

Acting chief executive Dr Paul Harrison.