Critical incident declared at two Midlands hospitals due to 'greater demands'

Credit: PA Images

A critical incident has been declared two hospitals Midlands hospitals after experiencing "greater demands" in the last 24 hours.

It means some routine care is being cancelled in order to increase capacity for urgent emergency care at Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital in Stafford.  

The wait time for non-life-threatening conditions is said to be "longer delays than usual" at A&E departments.

People are being advised to only attend the hospital for a life-threatening illness or injury, and to collect friends or relatives "as soon as possible" if they are ready for discharge.

In a statement, the University Hospitals of North Midlands medical director, Dr Matthew Lewis said: “We are currently experiencing extremely high demand for all our services.

"Both Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital in Stafford have been under severe and sustained pressure since the start of the year, but we have seen even greater demands in the last 24 hours.

“We have therefore taken the decision to declare a critical incident. This helps us to take additional measures to maintain safe services for our patients.

“Locally, we are working with our NHS and local authority partners to ensure that people who need hospital and emergency care can get treatment quickly and to identify any additional support that allows us to discharge patients who do not require acute hospital care.

“As anticipated, the pressure is greatest in our emergency departments, which are facing continued challenges as patients cannot be admitted to beds promptly.

“During this time the emergency departments will continue to see the sickest patients first, which means, for some patients, there may be much longer delays than usual.

“We continue to ask the public to help us by only using A&E in a serious or life threatening emergency. When we’re discharging patients, we ask that their friends or loved ones pick them up from hospital as soon as possible and have everything they need at home."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...