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People are being asked to think twice whether they need to attend A&E in Shrewsbury or Telford.
Hospital bosses at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital (PRH), are urging people only to attend if they are ‘seriously unwell or critically injured’.
Yesterday (Monday 20 November) was SaTH’s second busiest day of 2017 as 426 patients attended the Trust’s Emergency Departments – the equivalent of 18 people-per-hour, every hour.
And there has been no let up today (Tuesday 21 November) with more than 45 ambulances arriving at our Emergency Departments by midday.
At 9am this morning there were more than 40 people in our Emergency Departments, a quarter of who presented with respiratory problems as the cold weather takes its toll.
Sara Biffen, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “Our hospitals, along with others regionally and nationally, have been incredibly busy in recent weeks.
“We would ask people to please think carefully about alternative local services, which can avoid what can be a lengthy and stressful visit to hospital.
“Many conditions really can be seen much more quickly using alternative services and A&E should only be used for the most serious injuries and illnesses.
“Pharmacies are often seen simply as dispensaries for medication, but pharmacists are experts in medicines and will use their clinical expertise, together with their practical knowledge to offer advice on common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains and can also help you decide whether you need to see a doctor.
“NHS 111 can provide medical help fast when it’s not a 999 emergency.”
Almost 2,300 people arrived at SaTH’s Emergency Departments last week, with almost 700 of those patients arriving by ambulance.
Sara added: “I would like to thank our staff who are working so hard to ensure our patients are treated safely and with kindness despite these very challenging conditions.”