STAFF at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s A&E department have been run ragged after a record number of admissions due to people falling in the icy conditions.
The Countess experienced a huge increase in the number of people visiting the casualty department earlier this week, largely due to limb injuries after slipping on icy surfaces.
The department reported 330 patients visited A&E between midnight on Sunday and midnight the following day, with a large percentage arriving between 9am-1pm on the Monday – putting staff under a huge amount of pressure.
This total number of A&E admissions during one day tops the previous record of 270 patients.
Hospital at night manager, Jane Evans, said: “As a benchmark we state that 20 patients per hour puts A&E staff under extreme pressure. We have been operating way above this during certain periods but we have dealt with the situation well, in order to continuously provide a quality service.”
On Monday, 54 patients visited A&E between 9-11am, 64 came between 11am-1pm, and a further 52 attended between 1-3pm. On Tuesday 88 patients had visited A&E between 9am-1pm.
Jane added: “This has been a truly corporate approach with a number of other areas of the trust assisting the A&E department, including divisional managers and outpatient staff to name just two.
“Everyone has performed excellently and although it has been a struggle it has been great to see such a team effort on show.”
The hospital has been under strain aside from this week’s issues because of high rates of cold and flu in the community which can be serious for older people plus an outbreak of sickness and vomiting.
As the hazardous weather is expected to continue for the rest of the week, the A&E staff at the trust are keen to encourage people to only attend the Accident and Emergency department if it is absolutely necessary.
People suffering from any injury are advised to consult their GP in the first instance or alternatively call NHS direct for advice on 0845 4647.