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Extreme levels of demand for A&E services

People in Worcestershire are being asked not to go to Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments unless they have a serious or life threatening condition.

The health service in Worcestershire is currently experiencing unprecedented levels of demand for A&E services, prompting hospital bosses to again urge the public to choose their health services wisely and to think twice before they go to A&E.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were very busy with 334 patients attending A&E at Worcestershire Royal Hospital over the two days, compared to 283 the year before (an increase of 18%), and 289 patients attending the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch compared to 259 the year before (an increase of 12%).

Penny Venables, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Whilst we are prepared for this to be the busiest time of year, demand for A&E services has been unprecedented and heading into this weekend, our county’s two A&E departments are under extreme pressure. We continue to encourage people to use all of the available health services available in the county and only attend A&E when absolutely necessary. 

"We continue to work with colleagues across the health and social care economy to try and ease the flow of patients through the system as much as possible. I would like to personally thank our staff who have worked tirelessly over the festive period in what have been very challenging circumstances.”

Further information on all of the available county health services is available at www.isaandeforme.com.

Alternative options to A&E include:

  • NHS 111 – Dial 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening. It’s open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
  • Minor Injuries Unit - Your nearest minor injuries unit can help with a number of urgent minor injuries and the average waiting time is just 15 minutes. There are MIUs in Kidderminster, Bromsgrove, Evesham, Malvern and Tenbury.
  • GP surgery - Your GP surgery should be your first port of call for non-urgent, on- going illnesses or injuries.
  • Pharmacy - Pharmacists give expert, confidential advice and treatment. There is no need for an appointment.