STAFF and patients at the Countess of Chester Hospital have been praised for coping with a record number of admissions to the A&E department during the last week.
As a result of the freezing weather conditions there has been 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 between midnight on Sunday and Midnight last night, topping the previous record of 270 admissions in one day.
Staff were put under a huge amount of pressure throughout the day with 54 patients visiting between 9-11am, 64 between 11am-1pm, and a further 52 between 1-3pm.
Today a total of 88 patients have attended A&E between 9am-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.”
As the hazardous weather is expected to continue, the Countess is keen to encourage people to only attend A&E 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.