STAFF at the Countess of Chester Hospital have been praised for coping with a record number of admissions to the A&E department.
As a result of the freezing weather there was a huge increase in the number of people visiting the hospital suffering with limb injuries after slipping or falling on icy surfaces.
The department reported that 330 patients visited in the space of 24 hours from midnight on Sunday, January 4, smashing the previous record of 270 admissions in a single day.
Staff were put under a huge amount of pressure throughout the day with 54 patients visiting between 9am and 11am, 64 from 11am-1pm and a further 52 between 1pm and 3pm.
On Tuesday of last week, 88 patients attended A&E between 9am and 1pm.
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.
“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 Countess is keen to encourage people to attend A&E only 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 on 0845 4647.