A&E downgrades high alert status

Hereford Times: A&E downgrades high alert status A&E downgrades high alert status

A&E at Hereford County Hospital downgraded its high alert status today (Thurs) as a patient surge that has put the department under "extreme pressure" since the weekend eases off - for now.

Patient numbers at A&E have averaged between 145-150 over recent days or 20% up on what could be expected.

The surge saw A&E taking take “serious health conditions” only with Wye Valley NHS Trust (WVT) warning of the extreme pressure the department was under.

Many patients were said by WVT to be presenting with "emergencies" that could be treated more appropriately, and more quickly, at  minor injury units or even  pharmacies.

Recent weeks have seen a run on A&E that even the hospital’s new clinical assessment unit - opened at the end of last year - is struggling to slow.

WVT put patient safety action plans in place and clinical teams again had to postpone operations - at least over this week - to meet urgent treatment demand.

Figures for December show A&E attendances increased with numerous spikes in emergency demand. 

Over the month, A&E attendances averaged around 130 a day and ranged from 96 to 193.

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