Frontline doctors are appealing to the public to only use Hull Royal Infirmary’s A&E in genuine emergencies after a surge in attendances over the past two days.
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is warning of major pressure on the hospitals after more than 800 patients attended the emergency department this week.
On Monday, 420 patients turned up for treatment while 404 attended Hull Royal Infirmary yesterday, far more than the normal daily average attendances of around 330.
Today, Dr Jacquelyn Smithson, medical director for the trust’s emergency department, appealed to the public to use GPs, pharmacies and urgent care centre at Bransholme and in Beverley, Bridlington and Goole to ease the intense pressure currently facing A&E.
She said: “We come to work every single day with a determination to do everything we can to help people but now, we need the public’s help.
“We are seeing far more people than we would normally expect and this is having a major impact on waiting times.
“We are trying to provide the best possible care for those most in need of our help so we are appealing to people with minor illnesses or injuries to consider other health care facilities where they will be given the help they need and not come to A&E unless they have a severe illness or injury that cannot be treated elsewhere.
“Not only will this help them by ensuring they are not sitting waiting hours and hours to be seen, it will also allow our staff in A&E to concentrate on people in genuine, life-threatening emergencies.”
More than 200 people waited more than four hours to be treated, admitted to hospital or discharged home because of the surge in attendances on Monday and Tuesday.
The pressure on the department also meant some ambulance crews were waiting around 90 minutes before patients could be handed over to emergency staff.
Dr Smithson said: “Our staff are working flat out to try and cope with the pressure we are currently under but it is having a significant impact on the service we aim to provide.
“We are sorry people are waiting too long to be seen and would like to reassure everyone we are working very hard to see and treat the hundreds of patients who are currently streaming through our doors.
“However, we would appeal to patients and public to use our ED for genuine health emergencies only.”