Patients thanked following fall in hospital Emergency Department attendances

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Staff at Hull Royal Infirmary are thanking East Yorkshire residents after seeing a drop in attendances at its Emergency Department (ED).

Last week, hospital managers reported having admitted 100 extra patients into hospital, over and above what they would normally have predicted for this time of year, in the space of just five days.

But since issuing public pleas for local residents to look at healthcare alternatives such as GP appointments and minor injury units, the number of ‘walk-in’ patients arriving at HRI’s Emergency Department over the weekend was actually lower than expected.

Steve Jessop, Chief Nurse Information Officer for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust explains:

“We’re no strangers to winter pressures and so far, our winter plan which includes, for example, bringing in extra staff and creating extra assessment bays to help us cope, has been working well.

“At the end of last week, we saw a surge in the number of really poorly people coming into our hospital who needed admitting for care or treatment. Added to a high number of people coming through the doors of ED, some with ailments or problems which could have been more appropriately treated elsewhere, this was adding significant pressure to our staff and our services.

“But over the over the weekend, we noted that the number of people arriving at the Emergency Department was lower than we would normally predict for this time of year to the tune of some 60 to 80 people on Sunday alone, indicating people had been thinking twice about where to go for help.”

But despite the temporary reprieve, continued public thoughtfulness is still key to ensuring hospital services are able to cope throughout the winter period, as Steve explains:

“It’s great that people appear to have heeded our calls to look at alternative services, but the number of really poorly people we have in hospital is still high, and our Emergency Department is still very busy.

“We would absolutely like to thank people for their cooperation over the last few days, but we need this to continue to ensure our staff are able to concentrate on looking after the most poorly and most vulnerable people in our community.”

Details of all the various treatment options available to people in Hull and the East Riding are available by calling 111 at any time of day or night, or by visiting the NHS Choices website: Callers to 111 can also speak to an advisor for advice on the most appropriate service for their particular health condition.

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