Under pressure hospital sees 20 per cent fall in A&E visits thanks to appeal

Kettering General Hospital:'11/01/13
Kettering General Hospital:'11/01/13

Last week’s surge in A&E attendances at Kettering General Hospital declined over the weekend enabling the hospital to recover from a period of extreme pressure on its bed capacity.

But the hospital’s bed situation remains tight today, Monday, February 11, and the public are asked to continue to use A&E services wisely.

Last week a 20 per cent surge in A&E attendances led to the hospital’s bed capacity being significantly overloaded.

As a result the hospital urged local people not to come to the hospital over the coming weekend of February 9-10 unless their condition was an accident, emergency or life threatening.

The media appeal led to a 20 per cent reduction in A&E attendances, mostly minor injury patients, over the weekend and it was combined with significant additional efforts by hospital staff and local GPs to ease the pressure.

Kettering General Hospital’s medical director Dr Andrew Chilton, said: “We would like to thank all of the patients who sought alternative healthcare over the weekend for their support.

“It has enabled to us to see a large number of very sick inpatients appropriately and safely and enabled us to concentrate on discharging patients quickly who are fit enough to go home.

“As a result this morning’s situation is improved but clearly it has snowed today and we have to be prepared for another potential surge in demand.

“So we are asking people to continue to think twice about coming to hospital if there is any way their healthcare needs can be met elsewhere.”

The hospital cancelled a number of outpatient clinics and routine operations on Friday and is now in the process of contacting those patients to rebook their appointments.

Outpatient Appointments and routine operations are now back to normal at the hospital and patients should attend planned appointments.

Examples of appropriate use of A&E:

Cuts which won’t stop bleeding/may have damaged tendons or may need stitches to heal properly

Burns which are large, or deep, and need dressings

Limb injuries which are painful or swollen and could be caused by a broken bone

Serious medical problems such as chest pain, collapse, or heavy blood loss.

Examples of inappropriate uses of A&E:

Coughs and colds - most people would be best just to stay at home or see their local pharmacist

Old injuries or joint problems - are best seen by your GP, at least initially

Queries about medication - these are best dealt with by your GP

Toothache - you need to be seen by a dentist. Hospitals like Kettering General do not have trained dentists in A&E

Trying to use A&E to get a ‘second opinion’ rather than using the GP service