VISITS to Wigan Infirmary’s Accident and Emergency department soared by more than 30 per cent during the festive period.
Many of those treated by staff had less serious conditions that could have been treated elsewhere, which prompted hospital bosses to urge patients to consider the seriousness of their illness.
Ordinarily Wigan’s casualty department sees about 230 patients every day but throughout the Christmas and New Year period this shot up to 300 people - an increase of nearly eight per cent compared to the same period last year,
And now hospital bossed are asking people for their support and to make the right choices for health care.
Fiona Noden, Deputy Director of Operations, said, “Winter is always a busy time for our A and E department and this year is no different. The unusual rise in attendances has resulted in the department, and the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust as a whole, being placed under significant pressure.
“Our committed staff are working extremely hard to treat and care for our very poorly patients, who have been admitted to our hospital. I ask for the public’s support to help us make sure we can give urgent and emergency care to those people who need it most.
“We need the public to think twice and make sure they choose the right service for minor illnesses, ailments and injuries. Doing this will ensure the right treatment is given as quickly as possible.” Those admitted to hospital from the A and E department are considered very poorly and consequently their recovery requires a longer hospital stay.
As a result the Trust made available 33 extra beds available over the last few days. The Trust has also seen an increase in patients re-attending the A and E department during December and 92 individual patients attended more than three times in this time.
A spokesman for the Trust added: “Accident and Emergency departments should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation. It provides immediate emergency care for people who show the symptoms of serious illness or are badly injured.
“Dialling 999 will result in a response vehicle being sent to your location.”