Critical incident declared across all Derbyshire hospitals

Critical incident has been declared at Royal Derby Hospital and Chesterfield Royal Hospital Credit: ITV News

Derbyshire Healthcare has declared a critical incident as pressure on services reaches "new levels".

They made the announcement today (21 December) after Royal Derby Hospital and Chesterfield Royal Hospital were exceptionally busy between Monday and Tuesday (19-20 December).

Waiting times have extended because A&E beds are fuller and there has been a delay with discharging patients, due to a lack of community care.

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said pressure on services have "reached new levels in the last 24 hours".

It said: "Due to the significant and sustained demand for services, a critical incident has been declared to help prioritise and maintain safe services for patients.

"The two general hospitals continue to see an increased number of patients arriving at their doors.

"There are also difficulties discharging patients due to a lack of capacity across our community care sector. 

"Our teams continue to work exceptionally hard and we would like to reassure our patients and the public that despite the challenges faced, the NHS remains open for care, but it is really important that people to think carefully about where is best to go for the help they need."

It's the second health system in the East Midlands to announce the pressure is getting too much this week.

Nottingham University Hospitals also declared a critical incident on Monday (19 December).

A number of planned operations, where patients require a stay in hospital, have been postponed to "prioritise patients with the most urgent clinical need."

Nottingham officials said the declaration has come about as the Emergency Department is seeing large numbers of patients, which is causing "very long" waits.